Library: How to Separate Anonymous Research Data from Identifying Information in an Online Survey

Social sciences researchers often need to collect anonymous research data and identifying information in the same online survey. While it may seem like a contradiction, PsychData makes it possible. Here's how:

To start, create two surveys in your PsychData account. Determine which survey will contain your anonymous research questions and set the survey options for this survey so that, upon completion, it will link directly to your second survey for identifying information. After you have finished creating all of your questions in both surveys, turn them both on, and send your participants to the first survey containing your anonymous research questions.

From the participant's point of view, the first survey (the research survey) will blend seamlessly into the second survey (the identifying information survey). However, because the surveys are separate, they will generate two separate and unlinked data files: one for anonymous research data and one for identifying contact information. These files are downloaded separately. Thus the researcher is not responsible for "stripping" identifying information from the research data.

Thus, PsychData enables you to (a) ensure that participants complete the research survey before providing their contact information, (b) gather anonymous research data, and (c) collect identifying or contact information at the same time that can be used for tracking class credit or registering for an incentive.

PsychData also offers random survey linking (for random assignment to conditions) and a variety of other features that matter to social science researchers. Create an account and try us out, for free, today.

Testimonials

"In 30 years, my students and I have conducted well over 150 paper-and-pencil surveys. With PsychData, the process is... less time-consuming, less paper-wasting, more accurate, and very user-friendly."

—Thomas F. Cash, Ph.D.,
   University Professor,
   Department of Psychology,
   Old Dominion University

"PsychData has been an absolutely amazing service! It's easy, cost effective, efficient... and not just for me, but for the faculty and staff of the University."

—Rene Paulson, Ph.D.,
   Biostatistian,
   Texas Woman's University

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