The administration of survey-based research has changed dramatically over the past decade as the Internet has become more ubiquitous. For example, researchers today can reach a large, targeted and diverse audience at a fairly low cost. Further, survey results are automatically stored in a digital format that can be parsed and analyzed. Finally, the prevalence of mobile computing makes respondents be reachable in ways previously not possible. While these benefits are real and achievable, many researchers have shied away from using Internet-based surveys for a number of reasons.
Recognizing an opportunity to support those Lipscomb faculty who conduct survey-based research, the Office of Sponsored Programs at Lipscomb University has acquired a site license for Vanderbilt’s Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) software. REDCap is a robust and secure tool which supports the creation and management of Internet-based survey questionnaires. The tool is extremely flexible, supporting a large number of question formats (from textbox to semantic differential), and very simple to use. Further, REDCap provides a simple and direct means of exporting survey results in a wide array of formats (SPSS, SAS, Excel, etc.). REDCap also allows Lipscomb researchers to “brand” their surveys with a Lipscomb web address (as opposed to using an external tool like surveymonkey.com).