Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmx DOT com

Science in London: The 2016 scientific society talks in London blog post

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Some problems I am having with Survey Monkey in which deleting cookies doesn't seem to help

Edit: a few minutes later ;)
A cleverer colleague pointed out that the problem could be stemmed at source by adding an exception block for all cookies from SurveyMonkey. This works beautifully.

To do this in Firefox go to Tools » Options and click on the Privacy tab. Where it asks if you want Firefox to remember your history choose 'use custom settings for history' then make sure the 'accept cookies' bit is ticked (if you want to accept cookies from other sites) but click on 'Exceptions' and add in the root web address of the one(s) you want to block, in my case, then click the Block button and OK your way out of the menu and you're done.

I am transcribing hundreds of paper surveys into a SurveyMonkey survey. Once the survey is finished the system assumes you're done and doesn't let you refresh the survey to add in the details of another sheet. The way around this is to delete cookies then refresh and this resets things nicely.

However it isn't doing so today and no amount of cookie deletion, entire history deletion, private browsing, or refreshing the page with F5 will help. That's with Firefox.

I've tried creating a SurveyMonkey account and logging in and that doesn't work either.

I'm now on to MSIE (internet explorer) which involves a longer process to delete cookies, but it is currently working and I'm able to add in each new survey. I don't know if that will suddenly start working but I've also got Chrome and Safari on my desktop and I don't mind downloading more browsers, although there comes a point when it does all get rather silly.

Surely I can't be the only person who needs to transcribe paper surveys and has come up against this problem? While I might wish the surveyees had been given the link to fill in the survey themselves there are good practical reasons why paper should be used and so that's not going to change.

Is there a setting I can switch on that lets me solve this without having to go under the bonnet after adding in each new survey?



  1. Under your collector settings, can you set multiple responses per computer? In addition to this, if you have a gold or platinum plan, you can set the survey to loop back to the beginning once the survey is completed. Last time I had a question about SurveyMonkey I contacted their support and they answered me thunder fast :)

  2. Cheers Anonymous :) Problem was solved by setting a specific exception in cookies so that my browser never accepts them from SurveyMonkey - once I'd done that it worked perfectly and I could refresh the page and fill in all 313 scripts, phew!

    SurveyMonkey's amazing - I'm just the data entry person so don't normally have access to the analysis (I didn't have the login) but once I entered all the transcripts my colleague let me log in and see the end results. Fascinating stuff and I'm now doing some preliminary analysis on it, but I'm not a professional evaluator so the data will get handed to someone a bit more competent!



Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).