BOS - Online Surveys

powerful, flexible online surveys

Editing a launched survey ADVANCED

Certain changes cannot be made to a survey once it has been launched (regardless of whether it is scheduled, open or closed).

Listed below are the changes that can and cannot be made to a launched survey.

We cannot advise whether you should make a particular change to your launched survey.  We recommend that you only make minor or aesthetic changes to a launched survey (e.g. fixing typos or changing the optionality of a question).

Please ensure you have considered the implications of the changes you intend to make before going ahead.

These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Some changes, such as editing multiple choice answer options, will affect existing responses and may result in lost information.
  2. Other changes, such as adding new questions or radically changing question text, may make the existing response information confusing or misleading.
  3. BOS does not keep a log of changes to your survey and you cannot create a report which shows you which version of a question a participant responded to.
  4. We cannot retrieve responses that have been lost or corrupted as a result of changes made to a survey which has already been launched.

Changes that cannot be made to a launched survey

Once a survey has been launched you cannot:

  • Delete, move or copy any pages.
  • Delete, move or copy any questions.
  • Delete, move or copy any notes.
  • Delete, move or copy any sections.
  • Add new pages.
  • Convert a question from one type to another.
  • Delete multiple choice answer options.
  • Delete selection list answer options.
  • Add or edit multiple choice answer options within grid questions.
  • Add or edit selection list answer options within grid questions.
  • Add, remove or edit row items in grid questions.
  • Delete question columns from grid questions.
  • Add, remove or edit scale or rank values or row items in scale/rank questions.

Changes that can be made to a launched survey

Once a survey has been launched you can:

  • Edit page titles.
  • Edit notes.
  • Edit the question text of any existing questions.
  • Edit the advanced options of any existing questions.
  • Re-order rows and columns in grid questions.
  • Add new question columns to grid questions.
    Note:  This cannot be undone.
  • Add new multiple choice answer options where the multiple choice question is not within a grid.
    Note:  This cannot be undone.
  • Edit multiple choice answer options where the multiple choice question is not within a grid.
    Note: If a multiple choice answer option is changed, any existing responses will contain the changed option, not the original option.
  • Add new selection list answer options where the selection list question is not within a grid.
    Note:  This cannot be undone.
  • Edit selection list answer options where the selection list question is not within a grid.
    Note: If a selection list answer option is changed, any existing responses will contain the changed option, not the original option.
  • Add new questions and sub-questions.
    Note:  This cannot be undone.
  • Add page breaks.
    Note:  This cannot be undone.
  • Add or change routing options at both page level and question level.
  • Change the internal and public survey names.
  • Change any of the survey appearance options.
  • Change any of the survey settings options.
  • Add, remove or change any of the survey access control information.
    Note: Changing survey access control settings can result in personalised URLs and/or Finish Later links no longer working, and may result in respondents being able to complete the survey more than once or not at all.
  • Change any of the distribution settings.
    Note: Changing the survey shortname will change the survey URL. The survey will no longer be accessible at the original URL and Finish Later links generated before the change of URL will no longer work.

What if I need to make a change that cannot be made to a launched survey?

If you need to make any of the changes that cannot be made on a launched survey:

  1. Create a copy of the incorrect survey.
  2. Make the required corrections on the copy.
  3. Close the original, incorrect survey.
  4. If you wish to use the survey URL from your original survey for the new, corrected survey:
    • On the original, closed survey, click on Distribute, then Distribution settings.  Change the survey shortname (e.g. by adding “-error” to the name).  This will free up the original URL for re-use.
    • On the new (copy) survey, change the survey shortname so that the survey URL for the new survey matches the original, published survey URL.
  5. Launch the copy.

You will end up with two sets of data which you can export and combine in an external application, such as Excel.

If your survey has a respondent list, you will need to re-import the respondent list into the copied survey.  You must remove any respondents who have already completed the survey, otherwise they will be able to complete the survey again.