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Online surveys  (formerly BOS)

Powerful, flexible online surveys

Privacy notice

This page explains what information we gather when you visit the online surveys website (https://www.onlinesurveys.ac.uk) and explains how that information may be used. For Jisc’s privacy notice, visit Jisc’s Privacy notice page.

The information on this page does not apply to any surveys run using the online surveys software. Specifically, it is the sole responsibility of the institution holding the online surveys licence to provide survey respondents with all appropriate information as required either by law or by other statute (such as instruction from an ethics committee) either as part of the survey completion process or via other communication.

In addition, registered users of the online surveys service should refer to the licence agreement signed by their organisation.

Email address use

You will need to provide a valid and operational email address should you wish to log in to online surveys (either to run surveys or access survey results etc). This address may be visible on any surveys you issue and will be used if you request a replacement password.

Administrators and the Primary Contact within the online surveys account may be added to our mailing list since this is the primary means of communication between the online surveys team and our registered users. Users may choose to leave this mailing list at any time.

Your email address will not be passed to any third party except if required by law or in the case of a user abusing the online surveys service – in which case details will be passed to contacts at the relevant institution or service provider.


Cookies (small files stored on your computer’s hard drive) are used for authenticating registered users and are strictly necessary for registered users of online surveys.

One of the cookies online surveys uses is essential for parts of the site to operate and may already have been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but you will not be able to log in.

Cookie Name Purpose
Essential site cookies sessionid


These cookies are used to store session information when registered users log in and to prevent forged form submissions. Please note that these cookies are only valid for your session and are deleted when you close your browser.
Google Analytics __utma




Online surveys uses Google Analytics to provide usage information on the publicly accessible pages on the online surveys web site. Google Analytics provides information on what pages are visited and how often they are visited – the data collected cannot be used to identify any individuals. This information helps us improve the online surveys web site. Google Analytics is NOT used within the admin area of online surveys nor is it used on any surveys operated by using the online surveys system.

Should you wish to prevent these cookies being stored then this can be accomplished by using browser settings and you can also prevent any web site from setting Google Analytics cookies.

Data collected

As with the vast majority of web sites, our web server automatically logs certain information about every request made of it. This information is used for system administration, for bug tracking, and for producing usage statistics.

Data may, on occasion, be passed to the administrators of other computer systems/networks to enable investigation of abuse, problems accessing this site or of system misconfiguration. Otherwise the logged information is not passed to any third party except if required by law. Summary statistics are extracted from this data and some of these may be made publicly available, but those that are do not include information from which individuals could be identified.

The following data is automatically logged for each request:

  • The name or network address of the computer making the request. Note that under some (but not all) circumstances it may be possible to infer from this the identity of the person making the request. Note also that the data recorded may be that of a web proxy rather than that of the originating client.
  • The date and time of connection.
  • The HTTP request, which contains the identification of the document requested.
  • The status code of the request (success or failure etc.).
  • The number of data bytes sent in response.
  • The contents of the HTTP Referrer header supplied by the browser.
  • The content of the HTTP User-Agent header supplied by the browser.
  • Logging of additional data may be enabled temporarily from time to time for specific purposes.