Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a PsychData account?

Send your name, department, and TWU email to your site administrator at Accounts are typically set up within three business days. You will receive an automatically generated email from PsychData containing your login ID and password. Your automatically generated password can be changed under your account settings, in PsychData. Do not sign up for an account (free, trial, or paid) through PsychData directly.

My automatically generated password is hard to remember, can I change it?

Yes, after you are logged in, go to account tools to change your password.

My automatically generated password is not recognized by PsychData when I login.

We have found that if your automatically generated password is not recognized when you type it in, that copying it directly from the email and pasting it in will work. Be careful not to copy an extra space before or after the password.

I forgot my PsychData login ID, can my TWU site administrator give it to me?

Yes, you may contact for your login ID. You may want to try your TWU email address as your login ID as this is typically the login ID set by the company.

I forgot my PsychData password, can my TWU site administrator give it to me?

No, the TWU site administrator does not have your password. You can click on “forgot password” at the login page and PsychData will email you your password.  

Do I have to be on campus to access my PsychData account?

No, PsychData is an externally hosted software service, so you can access it anytime from anywhere you have internet access.

Are online surveys safe and secure?

PsychData is specifically designed to meet or exceed the standards set by academic Institutional Review Boards (IRB's) and PsychData’s online surveys are more secure than paper-and-pencil research. Go to to view the following two documents that provide detailed information: a) PsychData's Security Statement b) Institutional Review Board (IRB) Application Tips

How many surveys should I create?

a) As a general rule, you should only create separate surveys if (a) you need to create separate, unlinked data files (i.e., to separate identifying information from your research data), or (b) if you want to intentionally distribute participants to different, unlinked, surveys. b) Each survey may contain as many questions and groups of questions (i.e., measures) as you want. Further, the use of page breaks can separate one measure from another within a survey.

How do I randomly distribute my participants?

Random assignment can be set-up in your Survey Options. For example, when Survey A is finished (i.e., informed consent and welcome text), randomly assign participants to one of surveys B, C, or D. Keep in mind that each survey generates a separate dataset that will need to be downloaded independently and that you should ask for a unique ID to be create for each separate survey so that the data can be easily linked together for analysis.

Do I have to collect IP addresses?

IP addresses are numbers that identify a computer or group of computers that are connected to the Internet. The Survey Options allow you the choice of whether to automatically collect IP addresses. Many researchers choose to turn off this feature off for privacy concerns or to satisfy an IRB preference. The Survey Options also contain a number of other valuable features.

Which question type should I use?

Determine if you want your participant to be able to select only one or potentially many answers for a question. "Single Select" questions use "radio buttons" (i.e. choose one of the following) and produce one column of data per question (i.e., 1,2,3,4, etc.). "Multiple Select" questions use "check boxes" (i.e., check all that apply) and allow your participant to select more than one, only one, or no answers; each answer produces its own column of data with "off" representing unchecked and "on" signifying a checked value. Choose your question types with care.

How do I use Question Logic?

Question Logic allows you to direct participants to different locations in your survey(s) depending on the answers they give. Question Logic can be applied to any Multiple Choice Single Select question. Each answer can be assigned its own target destination (in the same survey, or another). A question with logic will always be the last question on a given survey page (since the next question is to be determined). Question Logic can be used for informed consent or eligibility testing, to skip questions, display groups of questions to participants who meet specific criteria, or to send participants to different criteria based on a demographic. 

When are my questions used?

Questions become permanently used when a survey is turned "on". To freely edit a survey (add/remove questions) without permanently using your questions, be sure that your survey is "off".

How do I create a lot of questions at once?

If you have a lot of questions that use the same answer format (e.g., a 5-pt. likert scale) then we recommend using one of our matrix question formats which allow you to create many questions at once by simply pasting in a list of your questions (each separated with a "return") and then including the answers to be used for the group. To keep your survey user-friendly, we recommend limiting the length of question group to 15 or 20 questions.

How do I handle question-order bias?

Some researchers want to avoid the order of their questions affecting the answers that participants give. To correct for question order bias, we recommend that you create several separate surveys each with the same questions/measures in a different order. Then create a starting survey (e.g., with text only – such as informed consent) that will randomly link to one of your survey versions. This approach will require the purchase of more questions than a single survey.

How do I create Informed Consent and Debriefing Pages?

a) You can easily create an informed consent page in your survey by simply inserting descriptive text (i.e., copying and pasting your informed consent text into PsychData) and then following it with a page break. The page break creates a "continue" button in the survey. At the end of your informed consent text insert some text to the extent of, "If you agree with these statements and consent to participate, please click on the 'Continue' button below" because the page break inserts a Continue button at the bottom of your survey. Other variations can be created using question logic.

b) Debriefing pages can be created in two ways: (1) insert a page break, followed by your debriefing text. In this way, participants will see your debriefing text as the last page of your survey. (2) Or, in the Survey Options, you can set the text that your participants will see after the survey is completed and they are returned to the main window. This option is important to use if you are using survey logic that sends some participants to the end of your survey.

c) If you are copying and pasting a large amount of text from Word or a similar word-processing program, you may encounter an error that you have inserted too much text. This is because Word and other programs create many invisible formatting characters that are included when you copy and paste. To get around this you have several options: (1) save your file as a "text file" (ends in .txt), (2) copy and paste your text into a "text editor" like Notepad or Simpletext that will strip away the hidden formatting characters, or (3) copy and paste your text in smaller chunks.

How can I preview my survey?

To preview your survey as it will appear for your participants, click on the survey title in the Research Manager. Your survey does not need to be "on", no participants will be used, and no data will be stored.

How can I print out my survey?

To print out a hard copy of your entire survey, use the "View/Print Survey" choice from the Account Tools pull-down menu.

Should I use a password for participants to take the survey?

You can set a single password that participants must enter in order to access your survey using the Survey Options. In our experience, surveys rarely (if ever) receive unwanted participants, and duplicate entries are generally not a concern because (a) participants rarely have enough reason to participate twice, and (b) if they do, you will likely be collecting their identifying information for course credit or other prizes and can filter out more than one submission.

How can I uniquely identify my participant's data?

If you need to link a case of data to a participant's identity then we recommend that you (a) provide each participant with a unique identifier and ask for that identifier in your survey, or (b) ask for one piece of information such as their email address, or to create a unique identifier, or (c) ask for their identifying information within the same survey or in a separate survey.

What type of question do I use to ask participants to create a unique identifier?

Typically, we find it easiest to use a free response type question with 10 character limit using text such as “Please create a unique code by entering your first, middle, and last name initials and the last 4 digits of your phone number. This code will only be used for the purposes of linking data across surveys.”

I was told we have an unlimited account, yet I notice that when I login, PsychData says I have 500 participants which decreases as participants are taking the survey. Will I run out of participants or questions?

No, TWU has an unlimited license, what you are seeing is the default set up for accounts. These numbers will reset every day so you will not run out of questions or participants.

I have 12 surveys in my account and need to create another one, but PsychData says I have reached my maximum number of surveys. What is going on and what do I do?

This is due to the default settings from PsychData. Contact your Psychdata Administrator at TWU ( to let them know about the situation and to request an increase to your account. Be sure to include your name and account login in your email.

When are my participants used?

A participant is subtracted from your account when the first page of a survey containing questions is submitted. If surveys are linked together only one participant is used regardless of how many surveys are completed. A survey containing no questions (e.g., informed consent text and random assignment only) will not use any participants. TWU has an unlimited account, so you will not run out of participants.

How do participant's get to my survey?

a) The URL, or link, for your survey is located directly under the title of your survey in the Research Manager. You can copy/paste this URL into an email, letter, poster, or flyer. b) Alternatively, you can send participants to and instruct them to type in your survey ID# (located to the left of your survey title in the Research Manager) in the "Go to survey #" box.

Which file format should I use when I download my data?

When you download your data, you are downloading a copy of your data -- download it again any time you wish. Excel works best with a CSV file and SPSS works best with a Tab-Delimited txt file – although either program can import both file types. When importing a tab-delimited txt file into SPSS, be sure to choose ONLY a TAB as a delimiter and be sure to specify no "qualifiers" if you have the option. PsychData has also added an SPSS download option for versions 14.0 and higher. The SPSS download will add the value labels and value codes directly.

When I downloaded my data using the SPSS download the data opens, however it doesn’t look exactly right. For example, there are a lot of extra other columns with no data in them. Why is this?

The SPSS download feature is for versions 14 or newer. This is likely happening because your version of SPSS is 13.0 or older. You will need to upgrade your version of SPSS (TWU is on version 15.0) or use another download option.

Where do I find the summary statistics of my survey?

PsychData does not currently have a data analysis/summary feature, as most researchers use a statistical software (SPSS, SAS, Excel, etc) to calculate analyses, however they plan to offer basic summary reports in the future.

What happens to my account if TWU decides not to renew their contract for the next year?

Your account officially expires when your hosting time runs out. All surveys are automatically turned off. You may continue to log-in for an additional two weeks and download your data or purchase more hosting time to continue using your survey or remaining participants and questions. Two weeks after expiration, accounts are "purged" -- meaning that your surveys, data, and any remaining questions or participants are permanently deleted. We will automatically send you a reminder 14 days prior to expiration – please be sure that emails from are not filtered out in order to receive your reminder.

What happens to my account if I no longer work for TWU?

Your account will be closed 30 days after your contract with TWU ends. If you are running a joint study with another current TWU faculty or staff, please contact your TWU site administrator well before your end date at to make arrangements.

I created an account in Psychdata and it says that my account will be deleted on 7/19. Could you please tell me what I need to do to extend my account. I am limited to how many questions that I can enter too. Could you please tell me how I can fix that?

TWU’s account is unlimited. Did you create your account from the PsychData page directly or did you contact the with your name, department, and email to receive an account? If you created your account from the PsychData website directly then you created a trail account that is not linked to TWU’s group account. Please contact your PsychData site administrator at

I am beginning to work with my surveys online and see that my hosting will expire on 9/8/08. Can you extend that hosting date?

This is actually just the renewal Date for TWU every year. Your account automatically renews when the university renews their contract. The date may not change until Psychdata changes it. If in the future TWU decides not to renew their contract with PsychData, then your TWU site administrator will contact you with more information.

Should I create my survey in word first, or type it directly into PsychData?

Either option is fine, although we recommend finalizing the survey in a word document since it’s easier to add to, format, and change the survey in word. Word also has spell check, PsychData does not.

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Page last updated 8:05 AM, February 19, 2020