Capture research data
Research data are created or captured to analyse and produce original research results.
High quality documentation and data description (known as metadata) enables future users to find, understand, use and properly cite your data. During your project:
- Document your data and collection processes to ensure quality, transparency and context.
- Use open formats to ensure your data can be identified, interpreted, accessible, understandable, preserved and verified.
- Describe and organise your data at the point of collection or creation to ensure integrity is preserved and contextualised.
- Use high resolution capture and digitisation technology or equipment for primary materials.
- Document ownership information, intellectual property, privacy and consent.
Data capture involves collecting data for processing or analysis using various methods, from high end technologies to low tech field instruments.
Use tools and processes to:
- capture data provenance—include data origin details, how it has been altered or transformed
- record quality metadata at the point of capture to enhance sharing, publishing and citation
- organise and structure data into open and flexible formats
- ensure compliance with privacy, ethics, and consent agreements.
Solutions, methods and tools are available to capture your data accurately and ensure valid results.
While planning your survey consider:
- the survey objectives
- the type of survey that best suits your objectives
- how the survey supports your research intentions
- who is your target cohort
- how many responses you need to get
- if it should be anonymous
- how it will be advertised or distributed
- possible incentives or enlistment strategies
- if extra care is needed for the research data (personal, or commercial sensitive data may need special handling).
Note: Make sure you have ethics approval for your research.
After completing training start building your survey by:
- registering your survey
- building a test survey
- giving others access (for example, your supervisor) during survey development, if required
- creating a map or flowchart of your survey
- validating your survey with a small test group.
Once your survey is finished and requires no further changes:
- activate your survey
- survey structure and question types can not be changed once active
- decide how long to keep the survey active
- decide between open-access or closed-access mode
- open-access mode - anyone with the link can complete the survey
- closed-access mode - participants need to register or receive an email invite, with a limited number of uses.
Note: Choose Open-access mode if you don’t know who will be completing your survey. Closed-access is good when you need to keep a record of participants.
After activating and distributing your survey:
- keep track of completed submissions
- export data after you have enough responses or the survey has expired
Data is commonly exported to Excel (CSV), SPSS, or R for analysis.
Contact us for assistance integrating survey panel codes if you engage a panel company to supply participants.
Both Griffith supported survey tools have inbuilt charts and data display pages that show a simple overview of participant responses.
You can analyse using free software available via the Software catalogue:
- Leximancer—text analysis
- Nvivo—qualitative analysis
- SAS—statistical analysis
- SPSS—statistical analysis
- R—free software environment for statistical computing and graphics.
Attend Hacky Hour for support with R or Python programming.
After data analysis has been completed:
- export as a PDF or printable version, if a copy is required, and deactivate the survey
- consider your requirements for data archival and custodianship.
|Validation||Possible in code||Yes|
|Secure file send||Yes||Yes|
|Custom HTML / CSS||Yes||No|
|Logic and branching||Yes||Yes|
|Offline data entry||No||Yes|
|Responsive design (mobile friendly)||Yes||No|
|Randomisation / counterbalancing||Yes||Yes|
LimeSurvey is a free, web-based survey tool that is flexible and accessible, with features such as, automated invitations, various question types, and a rapid publication workflow.
Griffith hosts a secure instance of LimeSurvey for use by university researchers, where all surveys and data collected are stored on our own servers and administrated by the eResearch Services team.
Learn the basics
Work through our self-paced tutorial to get started with LimeSurvey.
REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a data collection tool that is highly flexible and supports multiple collaborators. It works well for clinical and longitudinal studies, but can also be used to deliver simple surveys.
Griffith hosts a secure instance of REDCap for use by university researchers, where all surveys and data collected are stored on our own servers and administrated by the eResearch Services team.
Learn the basics
Work through our self-paced tutorial to get started with REDCap.
Find information and support for all aspects of your copyright compliance obligations.
For help with your research technology, data science and technical infrastructure needs.
Office for research
For help with research grant funding opportunities, ethical and IP matters.
Attend a workshop targeted to support you throughout the research lifecycle.
Griffith University Research Methods Advisors
For advanced statistical advice.