Why have the Macalester Survey Policies been created?
In fall 2014, focus groups revealed that Macalester students received 30+ survey requests per year. These requests came from multiple, uncoordinated sources, and there was no mechanism in place to stop off-campus researchers from using our student population as a convenience sample. Further, some researchers on campus noticed that surveyors did not always follow best practices with respect to survey development or ethics.
- This situation lead to survey fatigue on campus, especially among students, and was accompanied by a reduction in survey response rates across projects.
To whom do the Macalester Survey Policies apply?
- The Macalester survey policies apply to students, faculty, campus committees, staff members, and off-campus researchers hoping to collect survey data from the Macalester community. Barring certain exemptions, those wishing to survey our Macalester community must gain approval to do so from the Survey Coordination Committee.
- For an initial overview, see our Quick Guide to the Macalester Survey Policies (pdf)
What are the goals of the Macalester Survey Policies?
- To be thoughtful stewards of two shared and limited campus resources: Our community members’ time and attention
- To reduce survey fatigue and unnecessary survey proliferation
- To evaluate and prioritize requests for access to students, employees, or alumni for research purposes
- To encourage collaboration among researchers and the use of existing data
- To ensure survey research at Macalester is done ethically and conforms to methodological best practices
Quick Links: Survey Calendar & Quick Guides
- Macalester Survey Calendar (Google Calendar)
- Quick Guide to the Macalester Survey Policies (pdf)
- Qualtrics Quick Guide for New Macalester Users (pdf)
- SCC Application Forms
Surveys conducted by off-campus researchers must be done in collaboration with a Macalester staff or faculty member, who must serve as a primary researcher on the project. Under most circumstances, off-campus researchers who are not partnered with a Macalester staff or faculty member as a PI will not be allowed to survey Macalester community members. In rare cases, off-campus researchers will be allowed to survey Macalester community members without a Macalester collaborator IF they agree to share results in full with a relevant Macalester office or department AND IF said results have the potential to directly benefit that office in its ability to serve its mission to the College. An application for off-campus researchers can be found here.