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American Association for Public Opinion Research

AAPOR Transparency Initiative Raises the Bar for Polling

CHICAGO, IL, July 18, 2016 – Membership in the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s Transparency Initiative is being viewed as a standard for election polling public disclosure requirements.

FiveThirtyEight’s pollster ratings are “based partly on the poll’s methods. They use a simple, two-pronged test. First, does the poll use live telephone interviewers and call mobile phones in addition to landlines? Second, does the polling firm participate in professional initiatives such as the American Association for Public Opinion Research Transparency Initiative, which work to promote disclosure? Polls that do these things have historically tended to be the most accurate.”
(Source: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/election-update-when-to-freak-out-about-shocking-new-polls/)

For the national 2016 general election, HuffPost Pollster “will only include polls from pollsters who have all of the NCPP level 1 disclosure information publicly available either on their poll releases or on their websites. Pollsters who are members of the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s Transparency Initiative will be accepted without question.”
(Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/huffpost-pollster-polling-disclosures_us_568433a2e4b014efe0d9e102?9y1wz5mi=)

AAPOR has for decades worked to encourage objective survey standards for practice and disclosure. The Transparency Initiative is our approach to the goal of an open science of survey research. We seek to recognize those organizations that pledge to practice transparency in their reporting of survey-based findings. In doing so, AAPOR makes no judgment about the quality or rigor of the methods being disclosed. Rather, we are acknowledging member’s willingness to publicly disclose their procedures.

There are currently 78 members of the Transparency Initiative. We have included a list of each of these members. You may also access the list on AAPOR’s website: http://www.aapor.org/Standards-Ethics/Transparency-Initiative/Current-Members.aspx.

In addition to information about the Transparency Initiative, AAPOR also provides journalists with Election Polling Resources, a free online course on Understanding and Interpreting Polls and many other Election Polling Resources.

As the leading professional organization of public opinion and survey research professionals in the U.S., AAPOR understands that journalists play a critical role as gatekeepers for the flow of opinion information. We will continue to provide these resources to help sort through the deluge of survey and polling data.
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