Guides to Survey Research

Different Harvard libraries have put together guides to survey and statistical data resources available to Harvard affiliates.

Managing and Manipulating Survey Data: A Beginners Guide

Responses from surveys don't get turned into numbers that can be analyzed without a bit of work. This guide is designed for beginning survey researchers and provides an overview of basic steps to transform survey questions into data that can be analyzed. This handout is used in some of our introductory courses and workshops.

Managing Survey Data41 KB

Finding and Hiring Survey Contractors

The PSR guide to finding and hiring survey contractors is based our practicum workshop.  It provides an overview of thinking about survey contracting, and suggestions for locating appropriate services.  Harvard afiliates can also contact the PSR for a more detailed assesment of outside service needs.

Hiring and Managing Survey Contractors35 KB

How to Frame and Explain the Survey Data Used in a Thesis

Surveys are a special research tool with strengths, weaknesses, and a language all of their own. There are many different steps to designing and conducting a survey, and survey researchers have specific ways of describing what they do.

This handout, based on an annual workshop offered by the Program on Survey Research at Harvard, is geared toward undergraduate honors thesis writers using survey data.

How to Frame and Explain Survey Data74 KB

Overview of Cognitive Testing and Questionnaire Evaluation

Cognitive tests, pilot tests, focus groups, and other tools can be used to understand how respondents interpret your questions and instructions, understand the meaning of survey questions, and to write better questions.  This type of testing can also evaluate different survey techniques used in the field to increase response or cooperation, and can help you sort out the meaning of survey responses.  These handouts are used in introductory lectures in our courses and workshops.

Cognitive Testing212 KB

Questionnaire Design Tip Sheet

This PSR Tip Sheet provides some basic tips about how to write good survey questions and design a good survey questionnaire.

PSR Questionnaire Tip Sheet40 KB

Sampling, Coverage, and Nonresponse Tip Sheet

This tip sheet will help you understand how to think the population that a survey represents.

PSR Tip Sheet: Sampling, Coverage, Nonresponse53 KB