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Research and Innovation Services bulletin

  • RISsGuidance for researchers using online surveys as a research tool  University Ethics Committee

At UEC’s meeting in September, it was reported that researchers should be more wary when using online survey tools and check whether data collected is securely held. Researchers often claim that online surveys are anonymous but in reality some software may collect IP addresses which could potentially identify individuals. It is of course important to note that not all surveys have to be anonymous; this will depend on the research design and ethical review and, of course, the information given to potential participants. Should data which could be used to identify the respondent be collected in the course of research, then potential research participants should be clearly informed prior to responding to a survey, thereby ensuring any participant consent is both real and based on an informed decision.

UEC agreed that some configurations of Survey Monkey do not provide anonymity or security. Instead, the use of the Bristol online survey (BOS) is advocated which is used by the majority of Universities and to which this University subscribes. BOS is very secure, using password access for all accounts. For further details about BOS, please access the website where basic templates and guidance are provided:

The Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement grant access to BOS, so in order to request access and for an account to be set up for you, please email your request to the generic email at DCQE:

Please note, in addition, there is a University Policy regarding departments administering anything that might be considered to be a ‘survey’. The Policy, agreed by Academic Council states that:

“Any request to carry out a survey involving University of Portsmouth students where >250 students are involved or the survey spans more than one department must seek approval from the Student Voice Group (SVG). This is intended to ensure that students are not overloaded with requests that might impinge on their involvement in mandatory internal and external student surveys.”

Take a look at some of our upcoming events on offer during November!

  • Researcher Development Programme

Research Futures: Establishing Yourself – Wednesday 11 November, 9.30am–4.00pm – Book here.
Managing Your Time and Making Priorities – Wednesday 19 November, 1.00pm–4.00pm – Book here.
Introduction to Statistics – Wednesday 26 November, 2.00pm–5.00pm – Book here.

A detailed programme booklet for the academic year is available on our Researcher Support website. Booking links for all events are available at

  • Enterprise and Innovation Forum  4 November 2014, 12.00pm–2.00pm

Engaging with business  academic perspectives

Nick Capon and Dr Djamila Ouelhadj will speak informally about how they have successfully interacted with businesses and external organisations. Book here 

  • RISSNet 3: Wednesday 5 November 2014

For more information about this event and to book your place, please visit

  • Open Access publishing and the REF – Wednesday 12 November 2014

For more information about this event and to book a place, please go to For more information about Open Access, please visit

  • The Association for Research Ethics Annual Conference – 14 November 2014, Bloomsbury

Please click here for more information and booking form. Please email for any enquiries. You can view their newsletter here .

  • Global Entrepreneurship Week  Showcase your expertise and students – 1723 November

For more information about Global Entrepreneurship Week please visit If you would like to be involved, please contact Research and Innovation Services (

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