There are a variety of tools available for creating online surveys. Red Deer Polytechnic endorses no particular online survey tool; however, it is important for you to know that if the tool is owned by an American company (e.g. Survey Monkey, Google Docs), then you need to advise your survey participants appropriately of the possible risks to confidentiality or anonymity. Online survey tools that are owned by American companies are subject to U.S. laws, in particular the U.S. Patriot Act, which allows authorities access to the records of internet service providers.
Unless you indicate otherwise when constructing your survey, a U.S.-based company's servers will record incoming IP addresses, including those of the computers that participants use to access the survey. You are advised to set up your survey to collect anonymous responses. The procedure for this depends on the type of collector/s you use:
- If you use a Web Link collector (or any other collector), you must configure it to not collect IP addresses.
- If you use the Email Invitation collector, you must configure it to not save the email addresses (in the Analyze section) and not to collect IP addresses.
If you choose to use a U.S.-based survey tool, the Research Ethics Board recommends you include a statement informing your participants.
If you choose to investigate a Canadian-based survey tool, the following links may be helpful:
Red Deer Polytechnic's Research Common does have a limited number of accounts with a Canadian-based survey tool available for student and faculty use (first priority is given to students). Please contact Michelle Edwards Thomson at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.