SurveyWiz: Makes Survey Forms Help   Copyright

Survey Name: Short Name:
Now push this button:
2. Type items here:
3. Push either OR Number of Buttons
Label at left End= Label at right End=

HELP Return to surveyWiz

1. To use this program for first time, try the following example. First give the survey a name and a one-word short name. Type these names, My First Survey, and survey1 in the first row of the table. The survey's long name will be placed in the title bar and as a title on the page. The short name will be entered as a hidden variable in the survey as the first variable (which is also called 00exp). For example, driving_1. IMPORTANT: Leave no spaces in the short name. TIP: Choose the same short name as file name of your survey. Leave no spaces in either one.

2. Now push the button in the second row marked 1. Start Form. This will insert the starting HTML tags and also put in the hidden variables, including exp, date, time, and Remote Address (IP). (The remote address will help you identify multiple submissions from the same person. Multiple submissions usually occur within a few minutes of each other, when the person uses the back button to go back and recheck his or her answers or add a comment, then the person clicks the submit button again.)

3. Now, type in the text of your first question, being careful to type over the line inviting you to type in the first question. This text will be printed in the form when you press one of the buttons in the next row.

First, enter a question with a text box answer:

1. How much do you weigh in pounds?
Now, push the button marked 3a. Text Input. This will look as follows:

1. How much do you weigh (in pounds)?

You can also use a scale of radio buttons, such as the following:

2. I find these instructions easy to follow.
strongly disagreestrongly agree

To create this question with its scale of radio buttons, type in the question (you do not enter the question number), then type in the number of buttons you want, and also type in the labels for the ends of the scale. The default settings are for 5 buttons, labeled from strongly disagree to strongly agree. When you are ready, push the 3b. Radio Button Scale button.

You can repeat step 3 up to 90 times, and you can intermix text input boxes and radio buttons. (If you are using the default script, you are limited to a total of 100 variables in a given form, including the hidden variables).

4. If you would like to add demographic questions of sex, age, education, and nationality, push the button marked 3c. Demographics. You can, of course, add your own items to obtain other demographic variables such as religion, income, ethnicity, or whatever. You can add the demographics at any place in the survey, before, in the middle, or after the other items created in step 3.

5. When you have added all the items you want, push the button marked 4. Finish the form. This button will add the finishing HTML to complete the form.

If you use Netscape Navigator, you can now push the 5. Display button to view the form in the browser. You can edit in the window directly, and use the Display button to view the effects of your editing. If you have Internet Explorer 4 for Mac, you will need to save the HTML before you can view it (see steps 6 and 7). (The Display button does not work in Internet Explorer 4 for Mac, but does work with IE 4.5 for Mac and with IE 4 for Windows.)

6. You can now replace the words "(put your instructions here)" with your instructions. Copy and paste the HTML from the window to a text editor such as NotePad, SimpleText, BBEdit, etc. Save it as text only, with an extension of .htm or .html. For example, you could name it survey1.htm. It is recommended that you AVOID using an advanced TEXT PROCESSOR (such as MS Word) for this stage, as HTML-aware processors may change your HTML in unintended ways! (AFTER you have saved it as plain vanilla text, you may want to load it into such a processor to refine its appearance, to add graphs or images, if you know what you're doing).

7. Load the file in your browser, test it, and edit its appearance in the text editor to suit your taste. If you plan to have people type short sentences as answers, instead of numerical answers, you should increase the SIZE=8 MAXLENGTH=20 to some larger values; for example, you might use SIZE=60 MAXLENGTH=100 for a brief text answer.

You may want to change the ACTION=URL to specify, where is your email address. Or you may wish to change the ACTION=URL to the URL of your own CGI script.

A script in PERL by William Schmidt that works with surveyWiz can be used to save data to your local server. To see the script and instructions, click here. This page also contains a PERL script to randomly assign people to different conditions.

The default value of the ACTION address will send the data to a file named, data.txt. To download this file, you can download from the following address:
which you can type in the location box of your Netscape Navigator or IE browser.

8. All files are copyright Michael H. Birnbaum. You are welcome to use the default option under the following conditions. You may freely use the data generated from your own experiment without requesting permission; however, you may not use data from another person's experiment without permission from the author of that experiment, nor may you make any other use of the program or data that would be considered unethical according to the APA code of ethics.

9. Check the data file to make sure that you understand how the variables are placed in the file. One method to identify text boxes is to take the test and give short answers that will identify the item (for example, respond item1 to the first item, item2 to the second, etc.). The variables will be in the order that the items are entered in surveyWiz. The question number, however, does not match the variable number, due to the hidden variables. The first question you add will be the fifth variable in the file, after the four hidden variables of survey name (00exp), date, time, and remote address. If you rearrange the order of the items after creating the HTML, then the data will still return in the original order. You can use this property to create several different random orders of questions, if required in your research topic. All of these rearranged files will return the variables in the original order of the questions. (They are placed in the order of the leading digits on the variable names, specified in the INPUT statements.)

Click here to start FTP session: Download data.txt

When you see the data.txt file, choose View Source from the View menu. Copy the data (omit any banners) only to a text editor and save as data.csv (COMMA SEPARATED VALUES) file.

Copyright Michael H. Birnbaum, 1998, 2005 all rights reserved. This program may be used freely for educational and other noncommercial scholarly uses. You may copy and modify this program, as long as you copy this copyright notice. If you do use it, please cite the URL and the article by Birnbaum (2000) in works that benefitted from its use. Software is "as is," no guarantees or warranties can be made.


Birnbaum, M. H. (2000). SurveyWiz and FactorWiz: JavaScript Web pages that make HTML forms for research on the Internet. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 32, 339-346.

Birnbaum, M. H. (2001). Introduction to Behavioral Research on the Internet. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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This version of surveyWiz was written for the Advanced Training Institute sponsored by the American Psychological Association. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants SBR-9410572, SES-9986436, and BCS-0129453. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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July 6, 1999
Updated for APA sponsored ATI, July 18, 2005.