Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 5-26-2022

Publication Title

Computers in Human Behavior Reports



Publisher Name



The response rates of online surveys were often examined in the literature by comparing to other modes of surveys. Questions regarding what constitutes a respectable response rate for online surveys in research remained unanswered. To fill in the knowledge gap, we conducted a comprehensive search, screened 8672 studies, and examined 1071 online survey response rates reported in education-related research. Our analyses showed the number of online surveys in published research grew steadily across the years. The average online survey response rate is 44.1%. Our results indicate that sending an online survey to more participants did not generate a higher response rate. Instead, sending surveys to a clearly defined and refined population positively impacts the online survey response rate. In addition, pre-contacting potential participants, using other types of surveys in conjunction with online surveys, and using phone calls to remind participants about the online survey could also yield a higher response rate. The use of incentives did not show a significant impact on the response rate of online surveys. Other factors that impacted the rates included the funding status of a project, and the age and occupation of the participants. Concrete suggestions for reviewing and improving the online survey response rates are provided.


© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
nc-nd/4.0/).Computers in Human Behavior Reports Vol 7, 2022.