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

"I had such a great experience using PsychData and would recommend it to anyone conducting online research... The commitment to customer satisfaction was excellent!"

—Audrey Ervin, M.A.,
   Doctoral Candidate,
   University of Memphis

"I highly recommend PsychData to anyone, student or professional, who wants to conduct both high quality and stress-free online research."

—Judith L. Huber, Ph.D.,
   Counseling and Health Education,
   College of Saint Benedict

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