Leading Practices: Using Alchemer for Student Research

Many students use Alchemer to conduct research for their theses, dissertations or other graduate work. Students are certainly permitted to conduct research via the Alchemer platform, provided that they abide by our Terms of Use.

Below are some features you may want to implement when using Alchemer as a tool to survey research participants. Most university Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) require some combination of these features when using an online survey tool to collect data. It is important to engage your Institutional Review Board to approve.

Obtain Written Permission to Conduct Research Using Alchemer

We are happy to assist you with getting the approvals you need to perform your student research. Here is a letter on Alchemer letterhead that you can provide to your IRB to evidence permission to use the Alchemer platform to conduct your research: Alchemer-Permission-to-Conduct-Research.pdf.

Secure Transmission

If you wish to take advantage of an extra layer of security when collecting data you can use secure links (https). https links use what is called Secure Socket Layer to transport data safely between the respondent's computer and Alchemer servers.

Anonymity

IRBs often require that you ensure participants' responses are anonymous.

Informed Consent

Include a consent form on the first page of your survey. You might also need to provide respondents with a similar checkbox that gives them the option to withdraw their response at the end of the survey.

Add Opt-Out Answer Options to Required Questions

Required questions should have a "prefer not to respond" answer option. Surveys in which a respondent cannot proceed without answering may be considered a violation of the respondent's right to withhold information. Check out our Answer Option Special Settings Tutorial to learn how to ensure that these answer options cannot be selected in combination with other options!

HIPAA Compliance

If you're a covered entity regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and want to collect protected health information in your health and well-being surveys, check out our HIPAA Compliance article for more details.

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