Sanfey and colleagues1 recently assessed many of the influences that affect a medical student's surgical career choice using a Web-based survey. Although their results are compelling, we recommend that results from future studies using Web-based surveys be reported according to the Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys (CHERRIES).2 For example, the authors do not state whether participation in the survey was mandatory or voluntary. The authors acknowledge that they could not calculate a total respondent denominator; it would be helpful for the reader to know whether there was a mechanism to prevent multiple submissions by the same respondent. In addition, students who are more interested in surgery may have been more likely to complete the survey. The number of respondents who started but did not complete the survey was also not noted. Thus, the study sample may reflect a subset of the target population with a biased opinion.
Shah A, Cook C, Pietrobon R. Suggested Guidelines for Reporting Results of Web-Based Surveys in the Archives. Arch Surg. 2007;142(11):1110. doi:10.1001/archsurg.142.11.1110-a