Best Practices for Online Surveys in Qualtrics


This article provides tips for creating, delivering, and managing surveys. Following these guidelines could contribute to more meaningful responses, improved response rates, and results that are easier to analyze. Additional tips can be found in the references at the end of this article.

Survey guidelines and tips:

  • Qualtrics should never be used to collect data the University identifies as Sensitive Data

  • You will need to attain IRB approval before you distribute your survey if your research meets the definition of human subjects research. Review the Human Research Protections Program Frequently Asked Questions and other information available at the WVU Office of Research Integrity & Compliance.

  • You are responsible for adhering to WVU Information Technology policies on acceptable use, privacy, and security.

  • Important: Qualtrics does not save data until the respondent goes to the next screen in a survey. If you have the "Save and Continue" survey option set so respondents can finish the survey later, you must use blocks or page breaks.

  • Important: Do not remove the opt-out link provided by default in Qualtrics email invitations. Discontinue emailing those who opt out of your surveys.

  • Review the survey design tips provided by Qualtrics ExpertReview. Click on the iQ Score button at the top right corner of your survey. Alternatively click on the Improve Your Survey button when you go to Publish your survey.

  • Check your survey for accessibility: while editing a survey, click on Tools and choose Check Survey Accessibility.

  • Edit the survey title and description in the Survey Options instead of retaining the default Qualtrics marketing text. An accurate title and description will improve your survey accessibility.

  • Number the survey questions and allow the numbers to be visible for accessibility reasons.

  • Sans-serif fonts such as Arial and Verdana improve readability on computer screens. Be consistent in font choice for questions and survey text.

  • Specify only your own email address or a valid email address as the Reply-to address on email invitations and notifications sent via the Qualtrics mailer.

  • Ask a group of friends or colleagues to test your survey using a variety of devices and browsers. Request their feedback on survey appearance, time required, question wording, and any problems encountered while completing the survey.

  • Do not leave surveys open indefinitely. When you are ready to analyze your results, close the survey so no additional surveys can be submitted.

  • Download copies of surveys, raw data, reports, and contact lists at the end of each research study. Maintain your own backups of important research data. Delete files you no longer need. 

  • If your Qualtrics account owns one or more active surveys or online forms that need to continue collecting responses after your planned departure from WVU, please submit a Qualtrics help request to transfer those surveys/forms to a different account before your last day.




Article ID: 28640
Wed 4/5/17 10:55 AM
Mon 6/22/20 4:59 PM