Use of Online Surveys Tool for Research

The University of Glasgow has an institutional licence for the Online Surveys tool that is specifically for use by staff and Postgraduate Research (PGR) and Postgraduate Teaching (PGT) students, in conjunction with their research projects.

Access to the tool is free for but is by application only. See below for how to apply for an Online Surveys account.

Ethical approval is required in order to access the Online Surveys tool for research use. For more information, see the University's Ethics page.

If you would like to use the Online Surveys tool for administrative use, contact the Planning Office at planning-central-surveys@glasgow.ac.uk.

How to apply for an Online Surveys account for research use

Access to Online Surveys will only be granted in association with a specific research project, following the approval of an ethics application. Once the project is complete, access to Online Surveys will end.

To request access, applicants should send a completed Online Surveys account application form to ris-research-surveys@glasgow.ac.uk along with their letter confirming ethical approval. 

Download the Online Surveys account application form here: UofG Online Surveys Application Form


Data Management requirements for Online Surveys research use

In order to comply with University and Funder data management requirements, users of Online Surveys for research use must ensure the following conditions are met.

  • The account holder must give permission for the survey to at least one other University of Glasgow-based Online Surveys user.
    • For research staff, this must be the PI. Where the account holder is the PI, the additional user should be associated with the project (or e.g. the Head of School).
    • For Postgraduate Research (PGR) and Postgraduate Taught (PGT) students, the additional user must be the supervisor.
  • The account holder is responsible for ensuring that long-term storage of the survey data has been arranged in accordance with the University's Good Management of Research Data PolicyThe user will be in breach of the University's policy, and might also be in breach of the funder's policy, if the survey and its associated data are deleted without arranging for the appropriate data storage.
    • A suitable Data Management Plan should be produced for the survey data. The Research Data Management Team in the University Library can assist with the creation of this. 
    • Data Management Plans will be overseen by the PI or line manager for staff, and the supervisor for PGR or PGT students, in line with existing University procedures.
  • Data management plans must be in place prior to the survey being closed and/or deleted. Once a survey is closed and subsequently deleted, the associated data will be lost.

Terms & Conditions for Online Surveys for research use

The Terms & Conditions for use of the Online Surveys tool for research use are also available as a PDF: UofG Online Surveys Terms & Conditions (PDF)

Terms & Conditions for Use of ‘Online Surveys’ by Researchers

1.         Introduction

1.1          Formerly known as ‘Bristol Online Surveys’, ‘Online Surveys’ is the tool used by many Higher Education Institutions to conduct sector surveys such as the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES), Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS), and Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES). The University of Glasgow has used Online Surveys for these surveys and other administrative purposes since 2008.

1.2          The Online Surveys tool has a number of advantages over other survey options, including being designed for use by Higher Education Institutions and allowing users to create surveys at no charge. In addition, Online Surveys hosts its data on servers in the UK, ensuring its compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (soon to be replaced with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)).

1.3          In 2017, the University’s Research Planning and Strategy Committee (RPSC) agreed to open an Online Surveys account exclusively for research use. University of Glasgow research staff and postgraduate students (both Postgraduate Research (PGR) and Postgraduate Taught (PGT) students) are now able to use online surveys for research purposes. Where appropriate, visiting staff and students will also be given access to the account.

2.         Approval for Survey Use

2.1       The University of Glasgow: Research account is administered by Research & Innovation Services (R&I). The account is free to use by staff and postgraduate students of the University of Glasgow, including visiting staff and postgraduate students.

2.2       Access to Online Surveys will be granted only in association with a specific research project, following the approval of an ethics application from the relevant College Ethics Committee. Once the research project is complete, access to Online Surveys will end.

2.3       It is expected that the Online Surveys account holder, to whom access will be granted, will also be the survey author and will be responsible for creating and maintaining the survey.

2.4       Online Surveys accounts can be held by staff, PGR students and PGT students, though ultimate responsibility of survey content and use rests with either the PI (or another member of staff associated with the project; see 3.1) or the supervisor (see 2.8 and 2.9 below).

2.5       To request an Online Surveys account, applicants should send the formal ethics approval letter to R&I at ris-research-surveys@glasgow.ac.uk along with a completed Online Surveys Account Application Form. This form can be found at [link to be added].

2.6       Following receipt of the formal ethics approval letter and the Online Surveys Account Application Form, R&I will arrange for access to be given to the applicant named on the Online Surveys Account Application Form; this will be the account holder and survey author.

2.7       Once access is arranged, R&I will send the account holder the details of their account, including a copy of these Terms & Conditions.

2.8       For research staff, including visiting staff, the Principal Investigator (PI) on the project will be responsible for the content and use of the survey.

2.9       For PGR and PGT students, including visiting students, the student’s supervisor(s) will be responsible for the content and use of the survey.

2.10      PGR and PGT account holders will be required to make use of the ‘draft survey’ functionality within Online Surveys. Supervisors will need to review and approve these draft surveys before they can be made live and circulated to use. See 3.1 regarding additional permissions for surveys.  

2.11      Access to Online Surveys is limited to projects that have been approved by the relevant College Ethics Committee(s). Any additional surveys from the same account holder will need to be approved by the College Ethics Committee(s).

3.         Survey Use and Management

3.1       In order to meet research data management requirements, the account holder must give permission for the survey to at least one other University of Glasgow-based Online Surveys user. For research staff, this must be the PI. Where the account holder is the PI, the additional user should be someone associated with the project (or e.g. the Head of School). For PGR and PGT students, the additional user must be the supervisor.

3.2       The account holder is responsible for ensuring that long-term storage of survey data has been arranged in accordance with the University’s Good Management of Research Data Policy. A suitable Data Management Plan should be produced for the survey data; the Research Data Management Team in the University Library can assist with the creation of this. The user will be in breach of the University’s policy, and might also be in breach of the funder’s policy, if the survey and its associated data are deleted without arranging for the appropriate data storage. Data Management Plans will be overseen by the PI or line manager for staff, and the supervisor for PGR or PGT students, in line with existing University procedures.

3.3       Data Management Plans must be in place prior to the survey being closed and/or deleted. Once a survey is closed and subsequently deleted, the associated data will be lost.

3.4       R&I will run checks every 3 months to identify closed surveys. Once a survey has closed, R&I will contact the account holder and the PI/supervisor to ensure that long-term storage of data has been arranged.

3.5       Access will be removed and surveys closed on departure of the account holder from the University. R&I will periodically check the Online Surveys user list against the list of staff leavers from HR Core (the University’s Human Resources database). For students, supervisors are requested to update R&I with the details of leavers.

4.         Contacts

4.1        More information on the ethics approval process can be found on the University’s Ethics webpage.

4.2       For general queries on the institutional Online Surveys account, contact ris-research-surveys@glasgow.ac.uk.

4.3       More information, including contacts for technical queries, can be found on the Online Surveys website.

4.4       For information on managing research data, contact the Research Data Management team. More information can be found on the Research Data Management website.

5.         Useful Links

5.1       The following links to University of Glasgow policies and guidance may be useful.