Policy Portal

University Policy

Administration of Surveys

Policy Number: 3349-03-105
Effective Date: 11/01/2018
Responsible Department: Office of Institutional Research
Applies To: All persons in the NEOMED community

A. Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to provide guidance and oversight in the management of survey administration within the NEOMED community.   Through coordination of these activities, the University will: (1) reduce unnecessary redundancy of survey requests; (2) minimize survey fatigue; (3) provide safeguards for the confidentiality of survey results; (4) delineate what parties have access to the information collected; (5) ensure that the data collected are valid and reliable; (6) and create a catalog of all surveys administered.

B. Scope

This policy applies to all persons in the NEOMED community, including but not limited to students, student organizations, faculty, staff, and alumni.

C. Definitions

  1. (1) “Survey” refers to the gathering of information through written (electronic) questionnaires intended for use by or distribution to any persons in the NEOMED community and is inclusive of IRB approved research survey instruments.
  2. (2) “Institutional Review Board” (“IRB”) refers to the University body that governs research in which human subjects are involved to ensure the rights and welfare of those participants are protected while participating in such research.

D. Procedure Statement

  1. Survey Administration
    1. Individuals, offices, and organizations wishing to conduct a survey must submit an initial request for approval to the Office of Institutional Research (“OIR”) utilizing the online survey screening form. For survey requests that have the potential to involve human subjects research, OIR will notify the requester to confer with the IRB for review and approval, if appropriate.
    2. The OIR should be notified at least thirty (30) days prior to the desired administration of the survey.
    3. Initial review of requests will be conducted by OIR who will consider, at a minimum, the following matters:
      1.  purpose of survey;
      2. distribution/target population to survey;
      3. timing of administration;
      4. frequency of survey administration if more than one time; and
      5. previous surveys with overlapping purpose(s).
    4. Initial review(s) will be completed within five (5) working days of request. Upon completion of initial review, OIR will route survey requests to designated reviewer(s) within the colleges for final approval and scheduling for administration, if students are survey recipients.
  2. Secondary review will be completed by college(s) within five (5) working days of receipt from OIR.
  3. OIR will provide support (or referral to college resources), if necessary, in the design and the distribution of surveys, as well as in the analysis of the survey results.
  4. All survey instruments and data collected from surveys administered to NEOMED constituents will be maintained by OIR for the purpose of cataloguing.
  5. The survey form or cover letter must:
    1. Include contact information of the primary investigator;
    2. Include a brief description of the purpose of the survey;
    3. Indicate the constituent group(s) being surveyed;
    4. Identify the survey platform being utilized;
    5. Include a statement specifying that participation is voluntary, and state whether it is either anonymous and/or confidential; and
    6. Include the date(s) survey was last administered, if applicable.
  6. Once approved by OIR, the survey instrument may not be amended, modified or revised without subsequent approval by OIR, nor may a different survey platform be utilized unless pre-approved.
  7. Incentives can be used to encourage survey participation. If incentives are offered, the survey tool should acknowledge to all survey recipients that the incentives do not compromise the confidentiality or anonymity of the response.
  8. Approval Designation. Approved surveys will include standardized language or symbols denoting official University and/or college review and approval.
  9. Non-compliance. Failure to adhere to the terms of this policy may result in the inability to conduct future surveys within the NEOMED community.   Research misconduct as well as any other survey-related misconduct will be handled in accordance with the University’s Research Misconduct Policy, the University Faculty Bylaws, the Employee Handbook and the Student Compass, as appropriate.


Lisa Noland
Administrative Specialist
Phone: 330.325.6354
Email: lnoland@neomed.edu

Office of General Counsel

Northeast Ohio Medical University