Conduct research

Gathering survey data

STEP 6. Administer the survey

Notify subjects before administering the survey to explain why it is being administered and to discuss confidentiality and anonymity so they understand the conditions for participation.  You will need to get approval for the study from the university's Institutional Review Board and obtain an informed consent from respondents, which explains the purpose, and potential risks or benefits of their participation.   This consent form may be included as part of the survey with respondents initialing or checking a box to indicate consent. 

Unless the objective is to compare survey results across mediums (e.g., electronic surveys versus paper surveys), use only one medium. If you survey multiple subject groups, use the same survey at approximately the same time point if you want to combine or compare the data. Finally, be sure to give the same set of instructions to all subjects.


When the population is too large for you to survey all members, using random sampling or systematic sampling increases the representativeness of results. [more]

Response rates

High survey response rates help to ensure that survey results are representative of the population. Response rates will vary depending on how you administer your survey. In general, face-to-face and those distributed during a session will yield higher response rates than online, phone, or mail surveys. [more]

Page last updated: Sep 21 2011
Copyright © 2007, The University of Texas at Austin