Data in Everyday Life – Survey Said

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by Kaetlyn Phillips, Data Services Librarian

Ever watched an episode of Family Feud? The show’s premise relies on contestants guessing answers to survey style questions. Surveys are an incredible way to quickly gather opinion data. As a result, we probably encounter surveys on a routine basis. For example, just this week I encountered the following:

a) While shopping three different stores prompted me to complete a user experience survey by using a website and code on the receipt. If I participated I would be entered in a draw for a gift card.

b) While watching YouTube I was asked to complete a short survey on ads I may have recently viewed.

c) While traveling through an airport there were numerous stations asking about the airport experience. This included satisfaction with going through security, cleanliness of the washrooms, and satisfaction with food services.

The HappyOrNot Terminal system. Seen throughout Toronto Pearson Airport.

User experience surveys are only one type of survey you may experience. Other surveys include text based polls through news agencies, internet or phone based public opinion surveys, and Statistic Canada surveys. User experience polls or daily question polls are “quick polls” that measure the opinion of the participant. User experience data gathers your opinion for a specific transaction or single experience. New media quick polls often relate to a story from the day. Quick polls are great for gathering opinions in the moment as they usually take less than a minute to complete and often only feature a single simple question, but are not designed complexly enough to measure long term opinions on the subject. For example, you could rate a shopping experience as positive on Tuesday and negative on Wednesday due to multiple factors. Research surveys, public opinions surveys, and government surveys are much more structured than a quick poll, so we’ll tackle them in more detail next month!

Not everyone will participate in a survey, so sample sizes need to be considered. The sample is the number of participants needed to represent the survey’s targeted population. Quick polls often use volunteer sampling meaning participants have to choose to complete the survey by going to a website, scanning a QR code, or texting a response. These methods are anonymous and non-confrontational which reduces courtesy bias, when participants change their responses in order to be polite.

Volunteer sampling is efficient, but results must always be critically examined. For instance, volunteer sampling is prone to selection bias, in particular voluntary response bias, because the “silent majority” do not respond. People who have neutral experiences and opinions are just less likely to remember the encounter or are not motivated enough to complete the survey. People who have strong opinions are typically highly motivated to complete surveys as a way to express their feelings.

To increase motivation in neutral participants, quick polls may offer small incentives such as prizes or monetary compensation. However, the incentive has to be carefully chosen to increase motivation, but not encourage false or incomplete responses from participants just to get the incentive.  However, as participants we should consider and think critically about what personal data we are giving up in order to get a quick poll incentive. In some cases demographic and contact data must be provided to get access to the survey, which could result in spam material. In other instances, completing the surveys may require making a store account or downloading an app which will track our data. Ultimately the choice is ours!

Librarians’ and Archivists’ Council issues new policy on Open Access

As part of our ongoing commitment to the democratization of knowledge through Open Access, the University of Regina Librarians’ and Archivists’ Council (LAC) issued a new policy which came into effect March 1st, 2022.

Open Access accelerates discovery across the disciplines and increases the visibility and impact of research. It facilitates connections and collaborations between scholars and strengthens the rigour of published research by ensuring it is open to scrutiny by all, enabling scholars from all sectors, policymakers, and the public to use and build on this knowledge. Freely sharing research with the public also reflects the University of Regina’s responsibility and commitment to provide access to research as a publicly funded institution.

Our original Open Access Resolution was published in 2011 and focused on publishing in Open Access journals, and making those publications available in oURspace. Since then, the Open landscape has expanded to include Open Research, Open Scholarship, Open Educational Resources, and Open Publishing; accordingly, our new policy is intended to reflect this growth and reaffirm our commitment to the principles of Open. 

We hope that our new policy will encourage the campus community to join our librarians and archivists in making their work available through publishing articles in Open Access journals, making research data available in Open Data Repositories, and depositing their publications in our Open Access institutional repository, oURspace.

To learn more about Open Access, please visit our Open Access LibGuide. You can also contact Cara Bradley, Research & Scholarship Librarian, or Christina Winter, Copyright and Scholarly Communications Librarian, with your questions or for support developing a similar policy for your research team, your department, or your faculty.

Upcoming OER Sessions

As mentioned in Open Education Week, we have two more upcoming sessions related to OER:

Creative Commons Licensing: Join Christina Winter and Brad Doerksen on March 22nd at 11am for a session on Creative Commons licenses. (Image credit: “CC Buttons – Gold” by creativecommoners is marked with CC BY 2.0. )

Finding and Evaluating OER: Join Cara Bradley on March 24th at 11am for a workshop on finding and evaluating Open Educational Resources (OERs) (Image credit: “OER is sharing” by giulia.forsythe is marked with CC0 1.0.)

For more information and Zoom links please contact Christina, Cara, or Isaac Mulolani via university email or here

Did you know that the University of Regina is a signatory of the new open access agreement with IOP Publishing? Learn more about the agreement here –…/researc…/

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 17th marks St. Patrick’s Day, a celebration of Irish culture that is often celebrated around the world. We’ve updated our Library Leisure libguide with new recipes (traditional Irish stews!), sections on arts and music, and a selection of literature in our collection from Irish authors (and more). For a cozy night in, check out the Irish films in our databases for a study break!

St. Patrick’s Day Tab:

Library Leisure Home:

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New Dates! Library Zoom At Noon

By popular request, the University of Regina Library is offering four additional student workshops in March. The sessions will be open to all students of any program.

Library Zoom At Noon Workshops:

Discover YoUR Library

·       Discover tips and tricks when searching for research assignment sources.

·       Navigate the library website.

·       Find and manage sources in Quick Find.

Registration links (or email

Discover YoUR Library – 12pm, March 21, 2022

Discover YoUR Library – 12pm, March 30, 2022

Fake News: Evaluating Information

·       Learn about Fake News and how it affects your life, from research to conversations.

·       Build your mental information evaluation tool kit with logical and critical thinking methods.

·       Apply this practical knowledge to your school work and beyond.

Registration links (or email

Fake News- 12pm, March 18, 2022

Fake News – 12pm, March 25, 2022

Open Education Week: March 7-11

It is global Open Education week! March 7-11 celebrates the developing movement and community of shared and open educational resources like open textbooks, journals, creative commons licensing, and much more. Information about OE Week can be found here:

This week two online sessions are being offered at the University of Regina:

1) TODAY – Open Pedagogy discussion: Decolonization and Justice, Tuesday March 8, from 11:00 – 12:30 pm.

2) University of Regina OER by Subject Directory, Thursday March 10, from 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Stay tuned for two more Open Educational Resources and Creative Commons Licensing sessions coming up later in March.

You’re also welcome to check out some of the University of Regina Library and Open Textbook resources:

University of Regina OER by Subject Directory

Open Textbooks Library Guide

Open Access Library Guide

Open Educational Resources Library Guide

The University of Regina OER Publishing Program

March Archer Book Club: Gather by Richard Van Camp

Our last Archer Book Club meeting for the semester with the “Memoirs and Storytelling” theme will be March 23, 2022 at 12pm, discussing Gather by Richard Van Camp

Check out our full book club page here:

2022 book club meetings will continue via Zoom until further notice. To sign up, please visit our page above for more information.

All faculty, students and staff are welcome!

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