Unless clearly specified up front, your participation in our research surveys is completely anonymous. If personal information is recorded within the survey for the purpose of entering a competition/prize draw or providing further information, this personal information is initially stored within the same database as survey responses, but will be separated from the data file prior to analysis. We will not ‘trace back’ responses to contact information unless requested by yourself. For instance, if you provide a comment in a survey and request that someone contact you about it, we will use the provided contact information to meet your request; but we will strictly not link this information unless expressly requested by you.
Survey data will be analysed in group form (for instance, percentage of those aged 25-39 who gave a particular answer). From time to time verbatim comments will also be used in the reporting, provided it is not possible to identify who provided them. At no point will we reveal the person who provides a specific comment or survey response to any party unless it is required by law or requested by you. If a point of analysis could potentially result in the respondent being identified, this analysis will be skipped in reporting. It is of critical importance to us that survey participants feel that they can be completely honest within their survey responses without risk of being identified.
It is commonplace within our surveys to collect information about the suburb where you live, your gender, your age and sometimes particulars about your household or background. This information will never be used to try and identify you. We use this information so that we can group similar responses together to assist with analysis. For instance, if we are asking whether you use a particular service, it is often useful for us to see if there is a difference in the incidence of use for those who are under the age of, say, 40 years, compared to those aged 40 years or over. Being able to conduct these ‘cross-tab’ analysis by demographics means that we can generate useful information to assist with planning to meet the needs of our community.
Please note that because your responses are anonymous, if you type in a survey response with a request for contact, we will not be able to do so unless you also provide your contact details in the comment. These contact details will be stored separately to the analysis file.
From time to time we will have a space within surveys to collect personal information such as name, address, email and/or phone number. When this information is collected, the purpose of collection will be clearly stated. It is usually for one of two purposes:
- To have a means of contacting you if you are drawn as a winner of a competition or prize draw associated with the research; or
- If you wish to be contacted with further information about the topic.
As per the Victorian Information Privacy Principles (2000), any contact information collected will not be used for any purpose other than that which it was collected, unless requested by you.
If personal information is recorded within the survey for the purpose of entering a competition or draw or registering for updates, this personal information is initially stored within the same database as survey responses, but will be removed prior to analysis.
Web Survey Creator
Access to data
Only specific Council staff have access to the raw survey data. Indeed, if the survey has been conducted through a website other than Web Survey Creator, only the Social Research Officer or an accredited external provider will have access to the raw data. If the raw data is saved on our internal secure file management system, it will always be de-identified; that is, any field with contact information will be removed before saving.
Council staff regularly undertake privacy training to ensure that they understand their obligations under the Victorian Information Privacy act (2000).
If you require any further information about research privacy or ethics, please email email@example.com.