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Reference Surveys

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About Reference Surveys

Often, you will need to use the same sets of questions in multiple surveys. Rather than re-creating these questions, you can copy them with a few clicks. The Reference Survey element allows you to take surveys stored in your Qualtrics library and reference them inside your other surveys. Any changes made to the survey questions in your library will also change the questions within any survey they’re referenced in.

Setting Up a Reference Survey

  1. Create a new survey that includes the questions you would like to reference in multiple surveys.
    A block named demographics with demographic questions
  2. Go to the Projects page.
    On the projects page, clicking the dropdown next to a project to reveal the Copy Project option
  3. Click on the dropdown arrow to the right of the survey.
  4. Choose Copy Project.
  5. Choose to copy to Library.
    Selecting Library on the Copy Project window and then filling out the other fields
  6. Name the copy.
  7. Select the library and folder you want to place the copy in.
  8. Click Copy Survey.

Using a Reference Survey

  1. Create a new survey or open an existing survey in which you want to reference a survey.
  2. Open your Survey Flow in the Survey tab.
    Survey flow in the upper-left of the Survey tab
  3. Click Add Below or Add a New Element Here.
    Add Below and Add a New Element Here buttons
  4. Choose Reference Survey.
    What do you want to add? menu with Reference Survey selected
  5. Select the library and the survey you want to reference.
    Selecting a Library on the newly created Reference block
  6. If the Reference Survey is not in the desired location in the survey flow, use the Move option to drag the element to the correct place.
  7. Click Save Flow.

After you’ve added your Reference Survey element, you will see the Reference Survey blocks in your survey editor (though they will not be editable) and in your actual survey.

A reference block in the Survey Editor. The reference block is marked by a purple icon and a message

Editing a Reference Survey

Once a survey is referenced in the Survey Flow, any changes made to that referenced survey will be automatically applied to all surveys using that Reference Survey element.

Qtip: Changes to the Reference Survey can only be made within the Survey Library.
Warning: Editing Reference Surveys affects all surveys that reference the survey in the library. Additionally, your edits will need to be published before they are saved. For information about survey publishing and surveys affected by edits, go to the Reference Survey Publishing page.

To edit a Reference Survey

  1. Go to your Library.
    Navigating to the Library's Survey Library, then expanding the gear next to a random survey
  2. Choose Survey Library.
  3. Click on the gray gear to the right of the survey.
  4. Choose Edit Survey.
  5. Edit the survey questions as desired (only question options and logic settings are editable; a referenced survey takes on the theme of whatever survey it is referenced into). Any changes will be automatically applied to all Reference Survey elements referencing the survey.
    Purple This is a Reference Survey message in the Reference Survey

    Qtip: You can see the number of surveys linked to the reference survey in the upper right-hand corner. Clicking on the notice gives you a list of all the surveys that will be updated with your changes.
  6. Click Back to Survey Library when finished.
    Dark grey Back to Survey Library button in upper-left

Translating a Reference Survey

While regular surveys are translated using the Tools menu, reference surveys need to be translated in the Survey Library before those translations are available when referencing the survey.

To translate a reference survey:

  1. Go to your Library.
    image of the survey library. The grey gear icon to the right of a survey is expanded and the translate survey option is selected.
  2. Select Survey Library.
  3. Click the gear icon to the right of the survey.
  4. Choose Translate Survey.
  5. Add your survey translations. This translation editor works the same as the one in the Tools menu. See this page on Translating Surveys for more information on using the survey translator tool.