How to Set a Time Limit for Survey Completion
For some studies, it may be beneficial to impose a limit on the amount of a time a survey participant has to complete a given survey. For example, if you send participants a weekly survey, you might want to require that survey be completed within a week of receiving the invitation so that the participant does not inadvertently enter data for the wrong week.
Survey time limits can be defined in days, hours, minutes, or a combination of all three units. This option is set up for each survey individually and can be found in the “survey settings” menu on the online designer page.
Each survey will have a unique “timer” that starts the moment the invitation gets sent out via REDCap, whether it is a personal invitation or an automated invitation. This means that distinct survey participants may have different expiration dates for each of their respective surveys.
Things to keep in mind when imposing survey time limits:
- This feature does not impose a time limit when opening a survey (e.g. this survey needs to be completed within 25 minutes).
- Since the clock starts ticking upon invitation, regardless of when the participant opens the survey, be sure to use a large enough time frame.
- It is a good idea to mention the time limit within the survey invitation so the participant is aware of the restriction.
- Survey time limits can only be applied to surveys that have a unique survey link associated with them. Public survey links are excluded from using this feature.
Check out the following example for step by step instructions on how to define a time limit for survey completion.