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Access Restrictions

For each questionnaire in your survey project you can specify who gets access to it. There are five options to do so (see below for details).

  • anyone who knows the link, may fill out the questionnaire (standard setting)
  • participants from a specific IP range only can access (eg. academic or corporate network).
  • you need a password to get access to the questionnaire
  • you can only answer the questionnaire with a individual participation link (serial mail).
  • participants need a unique identifier for participating (serial number).

Access to a questionaire can be defined under:

  • Compose Questionnaire → settings Access restrictions.
  • Compose Questionnaire → click your relevant questionnaire → tab Access restrictions.

Choose one option and click save.

You as a project manager can view the questionnaire at any time, even if the access is restricted. In order to do so, you click Compose Questionnaire or directly in your questionnaire on the green (start questionaire) or yellow arrow (start questionaire in debug mode). When choosing this button you automatically will be recognized as project administrator. This will override access restrictions temporarily and grants you access.


This option will deactivate any access restrictions. The questionnaire will be visible on the internet within the chosen survey period. (choose: projectproject settings)

Anyone who knows the Internet address (URL) of your questionnaire or finds it (e.g. via search engine) can fill in your questionnaire.

Serial Mail

  • Unordered List ItemUse access mode serial mail if you send your invitations via SoSci Survey by e-mail (s. Sending Serial Mails) and thereby use the placeholder %link% for individualized participation links.
  • Also use the access mode serial mail if you create participation URLs with the function Send invitationsParticipation links.

The personalized links contain a unique code as a unique access code to the questionnaire. Each participant will receive a new subscription code with each invitation or reminder - so participation can be identified for each participant and invitation (serial mail). When sending a reminder mail, the same code is sent as in the original invitation.

Regardless (!) of the access code, SoSci Survey assigns a participant identification (serial number) to each addressee, if invitations are sent via SoSci Survey and the data protection mode is less strict than “anonymous. This is always being recorded in the data set (variable SERIAL) and allows for multiple serial mails being assinged to responses of various questionnaires.

Important: The participation status of the addressees is only being recorded (and will be shown under List of Contacts) when the access mode of serial mail is set and the privacy mode is less than “anonymous”.

Serial Number

The use of serial numbers is particularly useful when…

  • individual participation identifiers are needed - but the mailing of the invitations is not done via SoSci Survey.
  • if a pseudonymization of the data is sufficient or a personal reference is desired (see below) and/or
  • if the participants have to type in the code manually, e.g. because it is sent by mail

A serial number is a one-time password . It entitles you to complete the survey only once (in full). Therefore the participants must be known in advance of the survey. More details s. Serial Numbers.

For SoSci Survey to know which serial numbers are valid, there are two possibilities:

  1. SoSci Survey generates through Send invitaionsserial numbers, a list of valid serial numbers. These serial numbers will then be communicated to the addressee (outside the program) via your mailing system.
  2. You create a list of serial numbers (outside the program) and import these under Send invitaionsserial numbers into SoSci Survey.

The serial number appears in the variable SERIAL in the record. If the assignment of serial numbers to the addressee (by assignement) is known, then the data is not anonymous.

Tip: If a questionnaire is being called with a valid serial number, it can be continued even after interview was aborted previously.

Note: Under some conditions, it is possible to complete the questionnaire several times with only one serial number (Serial Numbers).

Serial numbers are different from the participation identifiers in serial mails, among other things because of the fact that they are related only to the addressees – participation identifiers in serial mails encode both addressee as well as series mail. Therefore, the administration of multi-shaft surveys is a little more complicated: The Project Manager is required to reset the participation status prior to shipment of later invitation waves.

Login with Email Address and Password

Participants can log in with their e-mail address (as it appears in the List of Contacts) and a password of their choice.

To set a password, you need a serial mail. Set in this serial mail as function: “Set/change password for address entry”. Send this serial mail to participants who should receive a password.

Important: Create another serial mail with the Function “Reset password for address entry” so that participants are offered a function for resetting forgotten passwords.

To link from one questionnaire to another questionnaire after login (e.g. selection of different questionnaires), set the access mode “internal/locked” for the other questionnaire and use the functions described under Multi-Level Structure.

Accessible only for specific IPs

If you restrict access to the questionnaire on specific IP addresses, then only those persons have access, working on a computer that is connected to the Internet by the specified IP address.

This works the same way access is granted to a chargeable database from a university network. If you want to ensure that only employees and / or students of a university may participate in a survey, then the IP whitelist can be the right solution.

This access restriction mode is useful in case that the IP addresses of the participants are known exactly. Many universities or larger companies have their own IP address or use a specific range of IP addresses. Computers that are installed in companies or that are connected through a VPN to the intranet, use for “outward” communication also these IP addresses.

You can add valid IP addresses as follows. Multiple items can be separated by commas.

  • Individual IP address, e.g.:
  • IP address range, e.g.:
  • wildcard, e.g.: 192.168.0.*


A classic but less secure solution: You only have access to the questionnaire with one central password.

Since the password is the same for each respondent, this solution is not very secure. The passord can easily be passed around. A lot more secure is the usage of individual access keys (serial mail or serial numbers).

BTW: You can also send the password directly within the link to the questionnaire. That way the respondent does not have to type in the password manually. (see also: URL to the questionnaire).

Important: When choosing this option you need to specify a passord. Else the questionnaire cannot be filled out by your participants.


If you lock the questionnaire, only you as administrator can access the questionnaire directly. To do so, you have to start the questionnaire directly in the project management (under Compose Questionnaire).

Access for participants is only possible if they are directed to the questionnaire via goToQuestionnaire() or multiLevelDown().

en/create/access.txt · Last modified: 07.09.2022 20:59 by admin
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