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Online survey tools

Survey tools can be useful data collection instruments for a variety of research and research-related purposes, but should be used with care.

Considerations of information security and legal compliance apply if you are using online instruments to collect (and thus store) personal data. The third-party service provider collecting personal survey data on your behalf is acting in the capacity of a data processor as defined under data protection laws. Whenever a data controller uses a data processor, a written contract must be in place so that both parties understand their responsibilities and liabilities.

Basic web forms from commercial cloud services such as Google Forms are not suitable for collecting and storing personal data. You should use a service provider under agreed terms of service that provide specific guarantees about the processing of personal data in accordance with UK data protection laws.

The University provides access under institutional agreements to a number of tools with survey capabilities.

Online Surveys

Online Surveys is a tool provided by Jisc and designed for use in academic research. Available to University staff and students. To obtain an account contact the Planning and Strategy Office.


REDcap is secure web-based application for building and managing online databases and surveys. It can be used to collect data through both surveys and direct entry by members of a project team. Multiple instruments can be created in a single project, and longitudinal data collection is supported. Available to University staff and students. Visit the UoR REDCap web page for more information.

Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms is a basic web form application, useful for simple surveys and registration forms. Available to all University members through University Office 365.

If you wish to use other online services for collecting and processing personal data, but are unsure if they meet information security and data protection requirements, contact your DTS Business Partner (login required) for advice.


Qualtrics is an online survey tool widely used in academic research. Available to Agriculture, Policy and Development staff and students only. To obtain access, contact Giuseppe Nocella.

Contact us


Robert Darby, Research Data Manager

Tel. 0118 378 6161