Online survey tools

People frequently post to AIR-L asking what host they should use for their online survey. I decided it would be worthwhile to compile these answers and put them somewhere (on the AIR Wiki) for future reference.

Survey Monkey

Survey Monkey is the most frequently mentioned web-based survey system on AIR-L, and many researchers have posted to AIR-L singing its praises. It’s been around a while, and seems to work well. Pricing is currently $19.95 a month for up to 1000 responses monthly.

Doreen Starke-Meyerring: “I have used SurveyMonkey ( I found it to be very easy and user-friendly and does everything you are asking for; I think it cost about 20/ month. For up to 10 questions and fewer than 100 respondents, it’s free, so you can try it out for a smaller project. What was nice about it was that all your data stay there even when you discontinue paying the monthly fee. You can decide to restart your account any time.”


Charlie Balch recommends this system, created for his dissertation.

From the site: “Welcome to BIRAT. This site provides tools to create and analyze online survey instruments. Most item types are supported and the data is organized so that you can export it for further analysis with tools like Excel and SPSS. While BIRAT is fully functional, it is also under development. Please visit from time-to-time to see what has been added.”


Joachim Schroer suggests that “we’ve been using UniPark for a couple of years now and are very satisfied with it (pricing is tailored to university budgets).”

From the site: “Scientific research departments, professorships and individuals in the academic field can now subscribe to Globalpark’s high-end online survey software Surveycenter at greatly reduced costs. Surveycenter is the online research tool of choice for over 300 businesses worldwide. Its friendly web-based interface allows users to create high quality surveys with minimal effort.”


Elisabeth Deutskens suggests this one. It appears that the least expensive pricing at the moment is $499 for a three month <1000 response survey.


Natalie Lupton notes: “I have used Psychdata to collect my dissertation research data. They have proven to be very reliable and fairly inexpensive, although I have a small sample size.”

Pricing has several variables, but appears to be in the $500 range to mount a survey.

From the site: “Conduct your research using our superior IRB-preferred services that are uniquely engineered to protect the integrity of your work and the security of your data.”


Pollmaker appears to be a free piece of software you can host locally–however, their website is broken at the moment.

Homero Gil de Zuniga writes: “… you might want to check PollDesigner software. It’s free and if you don’t manage HTML or XHTML coding it will help you a lot.”

Other Guides to Online Surveys
* Joachim Schroer suggests Websm
* Yanuar Nugroho suggests a JCMC article comparing survey systems (from 2005).
* You may also want to look through the posts to AIR-L containing the keyword “online survey”. ()

Related Articles

These references suggested by Porsche VanBrocklin-Fischer:
* Best, S. J., and Kruger, B. S. (2004). Internet Data Collection. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
* Baker, LC, M. Kate Bundorf, Sara Singer, and Todd H. Wagner. 2003. “Validity of the Survey of Health and Internet and Knowledge Network’s Panel and Sampling”. Stanford, CA: Stanford University; 2003.
* Couper, Mick P., Michael W. Traugott, and Mark J. Lamais. 2001. “Web survey design and administration”. Public Opinion Quarterly. 65 (2): 230 (24).
* Dillman, Don, A. 2000. Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method. NY, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
* Evans, Joel R. and Anil Mathur. 2005. “The Value of Online Surveys”. Internet Research. 15(2):195-219.

Yanuar Nugroho suggests:
* Burke, LA. and KE. James (2006), Using online surveys for primary research data collection: lessons from the field, International Journal of Innovation and Learning, Volume 3, Number 1/2006, pp.16-30

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  1. Posted 7/13/2007 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I’m currently piloting a project with the open-source LimeSurvey (formerly PHPSurveyor). Very fast survey setup, lots or pre-defined question types, many security options. It’s not a hosted service — user hosts it herself — but setup is simple.

    Of course, this script has probably been mentioned and rejected by the AIR crew for some good reason — I’m about two months behind on my mailing lists. But so far, we are having a good experience with it.

  2. Posted 7/13/2007 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    I have been using SurveyGizmo and am very happy with it. It’s got a nice variety of pricing levels depending on how many responses you expect to get, and the customer support has been fabulous.

  3. alex
    Posted 7/14/2007 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, guys, I’ve added those two to the wiki page.

  4. Posted 7/16/2007 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Other survey tools out there worth considering are InstantSurvey, Zoomerang and VantagePoint, ranging from inexpensive to more high-yield business. SurveyMonkey is the norm but I think you can find better tools out there for not much more money.

  5. Posted 7/16/2007 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Survey Monkey is a pretty good software if you are looking to do smaller-scale surveys. Someone mentioned SurveyPro as an alternative if your project is more expansive and/or you hope to reach a larger market research distribution. SurveyPro is owned by Qualtrics, who has recently given their products an extreme makeover. Qualtrics is the solution not necessarily for consumers, although they do offer a free lifetime license for small surveys, but for corporations or universities. They boast that among their clients are 10 percent of Fortune 500 companies and 15 of the top 30 business schools. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s true after seeing what they can do. Software this powerful isn’t cheap, but I believe they tailor the price to the organization so you know it’s a custom deal. Anyway, I thought someone should talk about the large-scale world of survey software. Check them out at or here.

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