Loyola University Chicago

Institutional Review Board

LUC Survey Software Checklist

The following questions have set forth the criteria which LUC would expect any survey software systems to have. The correct answers to these questions have been given in bold type. Below the checklist, there is information on when survey software would be disqualified from being used at LUC. In addition, LUC may require that all of the items on the checklist be met depending on the nature of the survey. If researchers have any questions as to whether their software meets the below criteria they should contact the company that made their software.

Opinio is an electronic web-based survey software product licensed by Loyola and administered by Information Technology Services (ITS), primarily for the purpose of in-house and institutional research. It is now available for use by faculty and graduate students for dissemination of survey research under the conditions outlined by these guidelines. It meets all criteria of the LUC Survey Software Checklist.

  1. Informed consent
    1. Does the software provide a record to the researcher that captures that a respondent has consented to the survey before the survey? [Answer should be yes]
    2. Is that record logged with a timestamp (ex. respondent #12 consented at 21:27:13 (GMT-0000) on June 5, 2006.)? [Answer should be yes]
  2. Secure transmission
    1. Information sent to and from websites can either be transmitted in clear text that could be read if the information was intercepted by a third party (http protocol) or encrypted so that a third party could not read the intercepted information (https protocol)

    2. Does the survey use https encryption? [Answer should be yes]
    3. Are there controls in place to prevent a respondent from accidentally entering survey data via the http protocol instead of the https protocol (i.e. does the server display an error message or automatically re-route the respondent to an https page)? [Answer should be yes]
  3. Database security
    1. Do researchers have access to their data in the database via a username and password? [Answer should be yes]
    2. Has the software company, maintaining the research database, signed confidentiality agreements preventing them from improperly accessing or disclosing the information contained in those databases? [Answer should be yes]
  4. Server security
    1. Are the servers, that contain the research data, located in a data center, with physical security controls and environmental controls? [Answer should be yes]
  5. Backups
    1. Is the data backed up nightly? [Answer should be yes]
    2. Is there a finite time period in which a deleted dataset can still be retrieved? [Answer should be yes – It is recommended that the investigator inquire about how long that time period is]
  6. IP addresses
    1. Is the respondent's IP address masked from the researcher? [Answer should be yes]

Criteria for Disqualification of Survey Software:

An answer of no to any of questions 1-4 or 6 would disqualify a survey software system from being used at LUC.