The Gallup Organization, known for its polls and surveys, has been purchased by a private market research firm in a merger that probably will not bring major changes to Gallup's work, officials said.

Selection Research Inc. of Lincoln, Neb., bought Gallup for an undisclosed price, officials said Friday."We know that the Gallup name is synonymous with a tremendous amount of integrity," said SRI vice president Gale Muller. "It will help us to get a lot more reliable information."

Alec Gallup and George Gallup Jr. will remain co-chairmen of the board of the Gallup Organization, which conducts polls and surveys for businesses and institutions.

SRI, with headquarters in Lincoln, is an employee-owned company with about 1,000 workers.

The companies have worked together since 1985 on hospital research, and SRI acquired part ownership of Canadian Gallup Poll Ltd. of Toronto in 1986. Those moves led to the merger, said Andrew Kohut, Gallup president.

"The (acquisition) will allow Gallup to be part of a larger network of resources," Kohut said in a telephone interview. While survey methods are not expected to change initially, the combined resources of the companies will enable Gallup to develop new survey techniques, he said.