Survey design

OxIS is organized around a number of themes that allow us to analyse the dataset for specific trends and topics, including:

  • Digital and social inclusion and exclusion
  • Shaping, regulating and governing the Internet
  • Safety, trust and privacy online
  • Social networking, friendship, and entertainment
  • e-Learning and Internet literacy
  • Online transactions and eCommerce
  • Media use and attitudes

Participant profiles

Based on the demographic and attitudinal questions asked in the survey it is possible to construct profiles of the survey participants. Our analyses relate these profiles to the data about use and non-use to allow us to draw detailed conclusions about who uses the Internet, in which way, and to what extent.

The profiling questions are asked to all participants, but there are also sections (eg about online information communication and entertainment) that are asked to Internet users only, and others (eg those about proxy use) that are asked only to ex- and non-users.

Sample design

The OxIS surveys aim to reach a nationally representative random sample of 2000 people aged 14 and upwards in Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). Interviews are conducted face to face in people’s homes by ICM Research. The sampling design that is used is two staged. First a random sample of census output areas is selected, stratified by region. Then, within each selected area, a random sample of 10 addresses is selected from the Postal Address File. This allows for comparisons based on socio-economic grade using ACORN measures. The data are then weighted based on gender, age, socio-economic grade, region and ACORN group.

Response rates using this sampling strategy have varied from 60% in 2003 to 43% 2019.