2016–2017 HEDS Research Practices Survey

The HEDS Research Practices Survey assesses the extent to which college students can apply their information literacy skills to the practice of scholarly research. It asks students about their research experiences and assesses their skills in finding, evaluating, and citing sources. Over 80 colleges and universities have used the HEDS Research Practices Survey since 2008. (Download a print version of the information about the 2016–2017 HEDS Research Practices Survey.)

The HEDS Research Practices Survey consists of two sections. The first section of the survey, “Perceptions of Research,” measures students’ experiences with research and the degree to which they experience difficulty in:

  • Finding Sources – 7 questions, Cronbach’s α = 0.80
  • Using Information from Sources – 7 questions, Cronbach’s  α = 0.79
  • Citing Sources – 3 questions, Cronbach’s  α = 0.78

The second section of the HEDS Research Practices Survey, “Familiarity with Research Terms and Strategies,” tests students’ knowledge in three areas of research skills:

  • Finding Sources – 5 questions
  • Evaluating Sources – 12 questions
  • Citing Sources – 12 questions

Depending on how institutions administer the HEDS Research Practices Survey, they can use the results to assess:

  • Entering first-year students’ research skills and precollege research experiences.
  • First-year students’ research skills and experiences after 1 year of college.
  • Senior students’ research skills and experiences after 4 years of college.
  • Students’ changes in research skills over the first college term, the first year of college, and over 4 years of college.
  • Students’ research skills and experiences compared with those of students at other institutions.

Faculty and librarians can use information from this survey to develop pedagogies and materials to advance students’ research skills. The survey only takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Survey Administration Periods

You may select either a single or a longitudinal administration of the HEDS Research Practices Survey. The standard administration period is 3–6 weeks. We list the 2015–2016 schedule for single and longitudinal administrations of the survey below.

Single Administration

Administration periods Purpose Administration duration Earliest possible start date Must be completed by
Beginning of first term Measure entering first-year students’ research experiences and skills 3–6 weeks August 1, 2016 End of the third week of the first term
End of spring term Measure first-year students’ or seniors’ research experiences and skills after their first year or 4 years of college 3–6 weeks Six weeks prior to the last day of spring classes Two weeks after the last day of spring classes

You can opt to conduct a single 3–6 week administration of the HEDS Research Practices Survey outside of these standard administration periods, however, we cannot provide comparative data for nonstandard administration periods. If you are interested in a nonstandard administration, please contact us to learn more about what this administration option entails.

Longitudinal Administration

Administration periods Purpose Administration logistics
First-term longitudinal

Measure growth in research skills in the first term of college.

This approach is especially helpful for institutions that have a first-term course for entering students with a research or information literacy component.

1st administration
  • Same as beginning of first-term single administration
2nd administration
  • Survey same first-year students at the end of first term
  • Duration: 2–4 weeks
  • Earliest possible start date: Two weeks prior to the last day of fall classes
  • Must be completed by: Start of the next academic term
First-year longitudinal Measure growth in research skills over the first year of college 1st administration
  • Same as beginning-of-first-term single administration
2nd administration
  • Same as end-of-spring-term single administration
Four-year longitudinal Measure growth in research skills over 4 years of college 1st administration
  • Same as beginning-of-first-term single administration
2nd administration
  • Same as end-of-spring-term single administration but survey the same students at the end of their fourth year of college

In the second administration of a longitudinal study, you may survey students who did not respond to the first survey; however, our longitudinal reports will include only students who responded to both surveys.

Administration Methods

  • Email method – A member of the HEDS staff sends your students an individualized email invitation with a unique link to the survey. If your students do not complete the survey, we will send reminders via email. You may customize both the invitation and the reminders, and each message appears to come from your institution.
  • Authentication method – You provide students with a general survey link and they use a unique password, such as their student ID or school email address, to log into the survey. We suggest this method when administering the survey in a classroom or computer lab.

For an additional fee, you can select more than one administration method. To ensure consistency in the administration process and the integrity of the comparative data, we do not allow institutions to administer any HEDS survey through their own survey engines.

Reports and Data Files

Standard single administration reports and data filesHEDS institutionsInstitutions not in HEDS
Summary reports that compare your students to students at (1) all other participating institutions and (2) the highest scoring institutions on key indicators in the HEDS Research Practices Survey.
Frequency report that compares your first-year students’ and/or seniors’ responses to those of students from the same class year(s) at all other participating institutions.
SPSS and/or Microsoft Excel file with your participants’ responses. (We will add values/labels to SPSS files.)
Interactive report that compares your students’ mean scores on the “Perceptions of Research” and “Familiarity with Research Terms and Strategies” sections to those of students at other HEDS institutions that have participated in the last few years. You can create customized comparison groups with this report.  
SPSS and/or Microsoft Excel file with student-level data from HEDS institutions that participated in the last few years. Institutional identifiers will be included in the file, but participants’ identifiers will be removed.  

We will send institutions that participate in a longitudinal administration these same reports for each administration. We will also send them a data file that combines data from the first and second administrations along with a report detailing how their students changed over the course of the longitudinal administration.

We will send institutions that participate in a nonstandard administration a data file with their students’ responses, but due to the lack of comparative data, we cannot send any reports.

Fees

 HEDS institutionsInstitutions not in HEDS
Base cost – single administration
Includes:
  • One 3–6 week survey administration
  • One administration method: email or authentication
  • Up to 1,000 responses
  • One survey invitation and up to three reminders for email method
  • 10 supplemental questions
  • Reports and data files as specified above
$500 $1,600
Base cost – longitudinal administration
Includes:
  • Two 3–6 week survey administrations (second administration of first-term longitudinal is 2–4 weeks)
  • One administration method per administration: email or authentication
  • Up to 1,000 responses per administration
  • One survey invitation and three reminders for email method per administration
  • 10 supplemental questions per administration
  • Reports and data files as specified above
$1,300

($500 for 1st administration +
$500 for 2nd administration +
$300 fee for longitudinal report and data file)
$3,500

($1,600 for 1st administration+
$1,600 for 2nd administration +
$300 fee for longitudinal report and data file)
Using both the email and authentication administration methods + $250 + $250
11 to 20 supplemental questions + $250 + $250
Additional responses (after first 1,000 responses; count includes all administration methods, incomplete responses, and duplicate responses; invoiced after the survey closes) + $.50 per extra response + $.50 per extra response
Late registration fee (see explanation in registration section below) + $250 + $250

Other HEDS Research Practices Survey Information

  • Survey liaison – You will need to identify one individual from your institution to serve as the survey liaison to handle survey logistics, communicate with the HEDS staff, etc.
  • IRB approval – The HEDS Research Practices Survey has been approved by the Wabash College Institutional Review Board (IRB) for use as a voluntary survey. We encourage your institution’s survey liaison to contact the IRB at your institution to determine whether their approval is needed prior to administering the survey.
  • Mandatory participation – Institutions should not make the survey mandatory or use survey incentives that may affect voluntary participation without consulting their IRB. In addition, the introduction to the HEDS Research Practices Survey, which informs participants that the survey is voluntary, cannot be altered.
  • Embedding institution names in the survey – We will configure the survey so that your institution’s name appears prominently on each page.
  • Supplemental questions – You can add up to 20 supplemental questions, the first 10 of which are free, related to the HEDS Research Practices Survey’s subject matter at the end of the survey. Each subquestion on a multipart or matrix question counts as one supplemental question. We ask that you submit finalized questions during registration. Your data file will include participants’ responses to these questions, but the HEDS reports will not.
  • Subsamples – You may request unique invitations, reminders, supplemental questions, etc., for different subsamples (e.g., for first-year vs. senior students). For single administrations of this survey, we will treat the surveys for each subsample as separate surveys and the full survey price will apply to each one. For longitudinal administrations of this survey, you can create different invitations and reminders for different subsamples for no additional fee. However, if you would also like different supplemental questions, survey windows, or data reports for different subsamples, then we will treat the surveys for each subsample as separate surveys and the full survey price will apply to each one.
  • Survey changes – We made minor revisions to the 2016–2017 HEDS Research Practices Survey. You can see a list of these changes here.
  • Qualtrics – HEDS administers its surveys via the commercial survey engine Qualtrics. Survey liaisons can use Qualtrics to monitor responses during the administration, and they can also view and download reports of participants’ responses during and after the administration period, until August 15, 2018. Institutions conducting 4-year longitudinal surveys will have access to their Qualtrics data until August 15, 2022.

Registering for the HEDS Research Practices Survey

You can register for the HEDS Research Practices Survey via the online registration form. At the time of registration, you may choose to pay with a credit card or receive an invoice and pay with a check. We send out invoices at the end of the month in which you register.

You must register at least 3 weeks prior to the date on which you plan to begin administering the survey. We will make decisions about accepting late registrations on a case-by-case basis. If we can accommodate a late registration, we will charge an additional $250 late fee. Institutions that participate longitudinally must register and pay separately for each administration.

HEDS Research Practices Survey Administration Contact

Please contact (also at 765-361-6343) if you have any questions.