Helpful Tips for Conducting a Survey at Purdue

Before you begin, have you considered?

  1. Have you checked to see if your question has already been asked? Check the list of surveys to see what previous survey results are available.
  2. Have you considered when to survey? Will other surveys be administered during this time -- leading to poor response rates? See the calendar of when other large surveys are being planned.
  3. Have you considered a random sample of the population rather than a census (whole population)? Here's some information on sampling techniques.
  4. How will you use the results? Will they be shared or published? Then you will need IRB approval (see appropriate approvals below).
  5. Are you going to offer an incentive to survey participants? See the guidelines below.
  6. Did you know that there is a web-based survey software available to all Purdue faculty, staff, and students to use? See Purdue's Qualtrics website.

Have you received the appropriate approvals?

  1. If you are a student, contact the Office of the Dean of Students.
  2. If you are a faculty or staff member and you want email addresses for your survey, you must first get permission from the following offices:
  1. To obtain the list of email addresses of faculty, staff, or students, contact:
  1.  If you answer yes to either of the following questions, your survey should be reviewed as Human Subjects Research by the IRB:

If you answer no to both questions, your study may be exempt, but you will still need to fill out a form with the IRB.  The institution makes the determination that the research/study is exempt, not the investigator/researcher.  Typically, the following types of studies/research are considered exempt:

Any survey that goes through IRB must have a certified PI associated with it.

Are you offering compensation or incentives?

If you are offering compensation or incentives, you must comply with Purdue University Business Services procedures as well as the IRB.

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