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26 Standardized Procedures for Personal Travel Surveys 8. A research agency may not release research findings prior to the public release of the findings by the organization that commissioned the study, unless approval of the client organization is obtained to do so; and 9. A research agency must ensure the reasonable safety of its fieldworkers during the execu- tion of a survey. 2.4.2 E-3: Mailing Materials Most surveys involve some activity of mailing materials to respondents, whether this is just an initial contact letter telling about the survey to be done, the sending of recruitment materials, or the full survey form. There is evidence to suggest that the materials used to mail to households, as well as materials for households to mail back, have an effect on response rates. Further dis- cussion of this issue is provided in Section 7.2 of the Technical Appendix. It is recommended that the following standardized approaches be adopted with regard to for- mat and appearance of mailing materials for travel surveys: 1. The use of a stamped return envelope, ideally with instructions on which materials need to be mailed back, and not the use of reply-paid envelopes; 2. The use of a large white envelope (4 9.5 or larger), with the address printed directly onto the envelope, rather than the use of address labels; 3. Print a recognizable return address on the envelope and indicate the contents of the envelope-- at least the survey name; and 4. Affix postage stamps, especially commemorative stamps, rather than using a franking machine or pre-printed bulk mail. 2.4.3 E-4: Respondent Questions In virtually any travel survey, respondents have concerns regarding the legitimacy of the sur- vey and those conducting it. While some of these concerns may be addressed in a cover letter, the typical survey has more nuances than may be explained in a single- (or even double-) page letter. The state of the practice has evolved three methods for respondents to verify the survey, and obtain answers to frequently asked questions. These include the use of 1. Telephone contact numbers; 2. Informational brochures, with frequently asked questions (FAQs); and 3. Internet websites. The use of each of these methods to answer respondent questions and the potential to develop standardized procedures for using these methods are discussed in Section 7.3 of the Technical Appendix. As a standardized procedure for respondent questions, it is recommended that the execution of a travel survey include A telephone contact within the sponsoring agency; A toll-free telephone contact within the data collection entity (if different from sponsoring agency); and Detailed instructions in the form of an informational brochure or fact sheet; care should be taken to ensure that the information is presented in an easy to read manner, with appro- priate use of graphics where possible. Where possible, a website with information about the survey, links to sponsoring agencies, answers to FAQs, email and telephone contact for assistance or further information, and the abil- ity to download survey materials should be provided.