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)
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.
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 be advocates for surveying best practices and ethical research