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This guide supports UCI’s innovation and entrepreneurship community by connecting users to relevant resources used to conduct research.

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Top 5 survey tips

How do I get people to take my survey?

Consider these tips to avoid common pitfalls and design a survey that increases the response rate:

1. Limit the number of questions.

  • Ask only what is absolutely necessary – the shorter, the better!

2. Ensure that the survey can be completed in under 10 minutes (less is better!).

  • Inform participants upfront about the time involved and, if using an online survey, include a progress bar.

3. Consider the ratio of closed- to open-ended questions.

  • Closed-ended questions are quicker to answer and participants are more likely to skip open-ended questions if there are too many.

4. Consider mode of delivery.

  • Online surveys are easier to complete than paper-based surveys and more efficient for the researcher (most online survey tools offer report generation and analysis features).

5. Don't ask for personal information.

  • If necessary, allow participants to "opt-in" for a follow-up by providing the opportunity to share their contact information.

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