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.

Interviews

  • Apply for ethics approval to secure informed consent from participants.
  • Consider potential data sharing and re-use scenarios when organising an appropriate agreement.

Randomised controlled trials

Clinical Trials Randomisation Service provides an independent randomisation process, compatible with all major clinical trial standards.

Speech to text service

Griffith provides access to a speech-to-text service for automatically transcribing audio data. This service is safe, secure and complies with Australian government, Griffith, and ARC funding requirements.

Surveys and clinical trials

Griffith provides access to LimeSurvey and REDCap for developing and distributing surveys. Each tool has different strengths and use cases.

Learn more

Discipline-specific data capture tools include:

  • Microscopy Portal—for analysing, visualising and storing your microscopy images.
  • BioCollect —for collection, storage and collaboration data must be open, and non-sensitive, and ecologically related.

Create high-quality surveys

Before you begin creating your survey:

Start developing and publishing your research survey

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.

Check the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and Griffith's Schedule Retention Periods for Research Data and Primary Materials.

Learn more

Survey tools at Griffith

Griffith provides support for LimeSurvey and REDCap. Each has different strengths and use cases, contact us if you need help choosing a survey tool.

In general, if you’re not sure you need REDCap, it’s usually best to select LimeSurvey.

LimeSurvey

  • User-friendly and quick to develop.
  • Griffith-branded.
  • Lightweight, responsive, web-based forms—suitable for mobile and tablet entry.

REDCap

  • Suitable for clinical and longitudinal studies.
  • More suited to studies with multiple collaborators.
  • Offline data collection tools (for remote fieldwork).
Compare LimeSurvey and REDCap
FeatureLimeSurveyREDCap
Price Free Free
Complexity ** ****
Validation Possible in code Yes
Email invitations Yes Yes
Secure file sendYes Yes
Custom HTML / CSS Yes No
Quotas Yes Yes
Logic and branching Yes Yes
Offline data entry No Yes
Longitudinal studiesYes Yes
Panel integration Yes No
Mobile app No Yes
Responsive design (mobile friendly) Yes No
Randomisation / counterbalancing Yes Yes

LimeSurvey

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.

LimeSurvey at Griffith (VPN required)

Publish

Randomisation

Store and archive

Short links

Duplicate

Learn the basics

Work through our self-paced tutorial to get started with LimeSurvey.

LimeSurvey tutorial

Common questions

Ask Us

More answers

REDCap

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.

REDCap at Griffith

Publish

Randomisation

Store and archive

Short links

Duplicate

Learn the basics

Work through our self-paced tutorial to get started with REDCap.

REDCap tutorial

Common questions

Ask Us

More answers

Ask the library

Common questions

Ask Us

More answers

We are here to help!

Find us in the libraries or contact us by phone or online.