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Online Surveys Passing Parameters | Training | Documentation
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Survey Galaxy Information | Communicating with Survey Responses

Communicating with Survey Responses

Passing information to the Survey Response

By default all surveys are anonymous but there are a number of ways of identifying respondents depending on the specific nature of the survey and what respondent information you have available.

The most straight forward way is to have questions in the survey that will identify respondents, for an internal survey this could be a staff number. If you wish to follow up on people's responses then requesting an email address or contact number is among the most reliable way; if contact details are already being requested from the respondents it is possible to extract a list of respondent contact details such as emails from the survey results.

In addition to requesting contact details as part of a survey, Survey Galaxy supports two facilities that will allow you to link a response to an external reference, (please note that implementing either method will result in the responses no longer being anonymous).

1. Web Server Integration

This is a facility that has been developed to allow secure integration between a client database and Survey Galaxy where the client is hosting their own website that is linked to its database.

This solution may be too complex for what you are looking for and would require a developer to implement for more details please view the web Server Integration detailed documentation.

2. Insertion of reference into invitation URL

This is a simple method whereby you can add a reference to the URL that you give a person to carry out the survey that identifies who that person is. This reference is stored in the response reference field which is included in the detailed results. You should bear in mind that this is a non-secure solution ideal for 'low-risk' environments as there is a small, but nevertheless potential, risk that respondents could simulate other people.

To implement this you would need to construct URLs for each respondent by adding '&ref=Reference' and send them out individually.


As a reference you could use a name, payroll number or key number. A key number would be a way of introducing security if that was an issue. We would recommend the avoidance of spaces.

A lot depends on what you would like to achieve, for example using the online Results Analyzer key facility you can identify comments from a single anonymous user using the respondent reference number and although this will not identify the respondent it will identify, for example, comments made by the same respondent.

Passing information from the Survey Response to the 'Exit' URL

In addition to being able to pass a reference to be stored with the survey response data if an 'Exit' and/or 'Drop Out' URL is specified the following survey response information is automatically appended to the 'Exit' and 'Drop Out' links:


Parameter Description
State S - Submitted/Complete, Q - Dropped out/Incomplete
Ref Any reference passed to the Survey using '&ref='
Response Capture Number Response Capture Number if applicable
Response ID Response ID
User ID or Capture Operator ID User ID if a Public Survey or Capture Operator ID if applicable
Survey ID Survey Key Number

The passed fields are identified by the '&SGRef=' parameter.

For example if the URL was specified as an 'Exit' URL:

If the survey was completed then the 'Exit' URL will be configured using the following format:,JohnBall,0,201281,0,k

If the respondent had quit the survey then the 'Drop out' URL will be configured using the following format:,JohnBall,0,201281,0,k

(Where JohnBall was whatever the parameter was that was passed using '&ref=', 201281 the unique response ID and k the survey's key ID).

It is possible to write a web application that can then use and process information passed to the 'Exit' or 'Drop out' URL.


Online Surveys Passing Parameters | Training | Documentation 23-Feb-2024 01:33