Checklist for Surveys

A: Planning – thinking through ‘who’, ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘how’ and ‘what’. Have you considered:

☑ Who you plan to speak about (population) – and gather data from (sample)

☑ How you will reach your sample

☑ How you plan to control your biases

☑ How you might develop the skills/resources needed to carry out your survey, i.e.) statistics proficiency

☑ Ethics/ethics approval

☑ The aspects of your research question that can be answered through a questionnaire.

☑ Details – distribution, reminders, response rates, and data management

☑ Contingencies – that is, having a back-up plan ready to go if response rates are low

B: Developing your questionnaire. Have you:

☑ Operationalized your concepts

☑ Explored existing survey instruments

☑ Drafted questions

☑ Decide on response categories

☑ Considered whether your question are ambiguous, leading, confronting, offensive, based on unwarranted assumptions, double-barreled, or pretentious

☑ Rewritten your questions

☑ Appropriately ordered your questions

☑ Written instructions

☑ Worked on layout

☑ Written a cover letter/ introductory statement

C: Piloting. Have you:

☑ Done a run-through

☑ Reflected on the piloting process

☑ Sought feedback

☑ Trialled your stats package

D: Modifying. Have you:

☑ Made appropriate modifications

☑ Considered revisiting your planning, development and piloting process (necessary if modifications are substantial)

E: Implementing. Have you:

☑ Distributed your questionnaires. Be sure to include instructions for return (address and return date) and possibly a self-addressed stamped envelope

☑ Sent reminder letters – send these out if response rates are low

☑ Initiated a low response rate plan – put this into action if not enough data has been gathered by your deadline

F: Managing and analysing. Have you:

☑ Organized/collated your data

☑ Analysed your data. Most survey data will be analysed statistically, but you will need to engage in thematic analysis for any open-ended questions