Online Surveys

If you’ve chosen to undertake a survey as part of your research project, the University of Plymouth preferred option is to use Jisc Online Surveys for which we already hold an 'Organisation' license. The service operates in the UK, is governed by UK law, is GDPR compliant and meets the ISO/IEC 270001 information security standard.

Requesting access to online surveys

The Jisc online survey tool is designed for Academic Research, Education and Public Sector organisations. It’s a powerful, easy to use tool for creating online surveys and is used by over 300 different organisations in the UK and internationally. It allows you to develop, deploy, and analyse surveys via the web.

If you are a member of staff or PGR, to request access to online surveys, please raise a request via the TIS helpdesk. If you're an undergraduate or post graduate taught student, then please raise your request via the Customer Experience Team within the library. For bulk accounts (e.g. programmes of undergraduate students), please raise this via the TIS helpdesk. If you’ve chosen to undertake a survey as part of your research project, you will be asked to provide the following information within three months of being given access to JISC online surveys. 

  • Faculty ethical approval for your study (if required). For undergraduate students, the supervisor may have overarching ethical approval.
  • Confirmation of completion of GDPR training.
  • Research Data Management Plan (if required). For undergraduate students, you are not expected to provide us with a research data management plan, but if you do have one, then please do share that with us.

When making your request via the TIS helpdesk, if you have completed an ethics application within the Plymouth Ethics Online System, please quote your project reference number or when Research and Innovation get in touch, please quote your project reference to negate the need for you to send all your information by email. 

If you plan to do any further surveys related to new studies (not related to the original request), then you are required to send your ethical approval confirmation and research data management plan to for each new study. 

If the survey request is not for a research study/project, then we just need confirmation of your completion of the GDPR training.

JISC Online Surveys is not intended to be used for data storage. Within the service, the survey owner can archive/export data if needed. It is the survey owners responsibility to ensure they have data backups and to remember to remove data from JISC Online Surveys on to the University of Plymouth’s secure One Drive system (which will be stored for a maximum of 10 years) once they no longer require access to the data on JISC Online Surveys.

Why we are moving away from other providers

There are privacy and compliance concerns with Survey Monkey; some of these can be mitigated by entering into a data processing agreement with Survey Monkey which is now available for 'paid subscriptions'. This is not granted automatically and must be requested from Survey Monkey. Consideration should still be given to the fact the data is stored in the United States however. 

Helpful information

University of Plymouth ethical approval process

University of Plymouth GDPR Privacy Coordinators

GDPR training

Research Data Management

Online surveys help and support


If your survey is not for a research study/project, you may need to register your survey as an information asset within your faculty information asset register (IAR). Information can be found here. Each faculty has an IAR lead; the list of those can be found here

Further information can be found here (for internal staff and students only).