When you first click on the "Surveys" button in the header you will see a list of all your surveys, including those surveys that are owned by other users but which you have been granted access to (if any). By default, your surveys will be sorted by the date that they were last modified with the most recently modified surveys appearing first. You can change the way that the networks are sorted by clicking on any of the Survey Name, Access or Modified column headings.

Creating a Survey

To create a survey, click on the "New Survey" button at the bottom left of the page that lists all of your surveys. A dialogue will open with a single input - the name of the survey. Enter a name for your survey and then click on "Create". The name that you choose for your survey will help you distinguish it from other relationship-based surveys that you may be running at the same time, i.e. the respondents to the survey will not see the name you select.

Adding Questions to Your Survey

After creating a new survey you will be automatically taken to the Edit view for that survey. At the top of that Edit view you will see that there are three steps required for creating a survey - creating your questions, uploading your lists (including your respondent list) and launching the survey (i.e. collecting responses). Here we will focus on that first step - creating your questions.


It is of course possible to edit your survey at a later stage by clicking on the edit button next to your survey which will see you return to this page. You will then be able to edit your survey questions, respondent list and email launch communication. Indeed, it is even possible to edit questions and the respondent list after a survey is live and collecting responses. Typically though you will want to minimize any edits to a survey after launch.

To add a question to your survey, click on the "Question" button and a dialogue will appear with all the necessary inputs for adding a question to your survey. The first input that you will see is the type of the question - there are eight different question types available: textbox, numerical, numerical slider, multiple choice, matrix of choices, search and select, descriptive text and page break. We examine each of these question types in a fair bit of detail below.

Relationship Questions vs Non-Relationship Questions

One of the inputs you will see in the dialogue for creating questions is "Relationship Question?" with the selection options being either yes or no. Before looking at the various types of questions available it is important to understand that each question in a Polinode relationship-based survey can be either a relationship question or a non-relationship question. A relationship question is used to collect data about relationships that the respondents have and will produce a network diagram that can then be analyzed within Polinode. A non-relationship question on the other hand is very similar to a regular survey question and the answers to a non-relationship question will be available as attributes on the respondents in the network. For example, I can ask respondents a relationship question such as "Who do you go to for advice?" and I will then be able to generate a network showing those relationships which I can then interactively explore and analyze. I may also ask respondents a non-relationship question such as "What is your gender?" and the answers to that question will be available as attributes on each node (i.e. respondent) in the network. I can then size by, color by, filter by this attribute as I can by any attribute in a network.

If you select Yes for Relationship Question then another input will appear that will ask you to specify a Source of Relationships for the relationship question. You have three options:

  1. Respondent List: This is the default option and is what you will use to ask respondents about their relationship with all other respondents in the survey.
  2. Supplementary List: A Supplementary List works in a similar fashion to a Respondent List except that it is more general. It can be used to ask respondents about a subset or superset of people relative to the respondents themselves, for example asking a division about a whole company. A Supplementary List can also be used to ask about abstract items that do not need to be people or to overlap with the respondent list. For example, we can ask respondents to select a number of values from a set of values.
  3. Answer to Earlier Relationship Question: This third option for the source of relationships allows us to pipe the answers from one relationship question into a subsequent relationship question. We can even chain this together multiple times or pipe from one question into multiple subsequent questions.


The first question type available in the list of possible question types is textbox. A textbox question allows you to collect open text data, i.e. where the respondent is provided with a box within which they may write a free-form text response.

The first input for the question after selecting the type of question is the actual text of the question. Please note that markdown is supported for inputting question text so you can add images, tables, links, etc. here if desired. Please see this (opens new window) link for more information on markdown.

You will see that the option is available for this question to be either a relationship question or non-relationship question. If you select relationship question then a small text box will be available for every item in the source of relationships. For example, the name of every respondent in the survey will appear with a small text box next to them if the source of relationships is set to be the respondent list. If you select no for relationship question then a single textbox will be presented to the respondent.

Each question in the survey can either be optional or required. By default all questions are required such that a respondent must enter an answer to the question but if you would like to make a question optional you can do so by changing the input for Required to No.

All question types also have a number of Advanced Options. Common to most question types are the following two advanced options:

  1. Abbreviation: Question abbreviations are optional and, if provided for a relationship question, will be used as part of the name of the generated networks. If provided for a non-relationship question then the abbreviation will be used as the name of the attributes for the nodes (e.g. "Gender" for a question that asks about gender).
  2. Attribute: By default all non-relationship questions will be added as attributes to nodes with the exception of textbox questions which by default are not added as attributes to nodes given that responses can sometimes be quite long. This default behavior can be overridden using the Attribute Advanced Option.

For all question types you may preview the question by clicking on the "Preview" button and, when you are ready, you may add the question to the survey by clicking on the Add button.


Numerical questions are very similar to textbox questions with the main difference being that numerical questions take numbers as inputs instead of text. So, for relationship questions a numerical question will show a numerical input next to each item in the source of relationships and for non-relationship questions there will just be a single numerical input.

Numerical Slider

Numerical slider questions are similar to Numerical questions in the sense that both are designed to collect numbers as responses. Numerical sliders though present the respondent with a slider that has a lower and upper bound and which the respondent then slides a thumb up and down to indicate their response. There are a number of additional inputs for a numerical slider:

  1. Minimum Value: The lowest value in the range for the slider (defaults to 0)
  2. Maximum Value: The highest value in the range for the slider (defaults to 100)
  3. Default Value: The value that the slider will start at (defaults to 50)
  4. Minimum Label: The text label that will appear above the minimum value (defaults to "Minimum")
  5. Maximum Label: The text label that will appear above the maximum value (defaults to "Maximum")
  6. Increment: The step value that the slider will move up and down (defaults to 1)

The numerical slider question type also has one special advanced option accessible under Advanced Options - "Show Value?". By default this is set to yes, i.e. a numerical value will be displayed above the slider but if you would like to hide this number you can do so by changing Show Value to No.


Both numerical and numerical slider questions can be used to efficiently collect information about the strength of relationships in a relationship-based survey. For example, you can pipe responses from a name generator type question into a numerical slider question where you would ask the respondent to indicate the frequency or importance of a relationship including how important greater access to the nominated individuals is. Once the networks are generated, the responses to this question will be available as weights on each edge which you can use in the analysis of the network by for example calculating weighted In Degree.

Multiple Choice

Multiple choice questions present the respondent with a number of selected options to choose from. The inputs for this question that have not already been covered above for other question types are:

  1. Answer Options: For non-relationship questions, you can edit, delete and add selection options here.
  2. Multiple Selections: Multiple choice questions allow multiple selections by default but can be changed to permit only a single selection by selecting No for this input.

Under Advanced Options, there are three additional inputs for the multiple choice question type not previously covered above:

  1. Display Type: By default the display type is to show radio buttons or checkboxes (i.e. the buttons option). However, you can change the input to be select from dropdown instead.
  2. Minimum No. of Selections: Use this input to enforce a minimum number of selections that a user must make.
  3. Maximum No. of Selections: Use this input to enforce a maximum number of selections that a user must make.


Both multiple choice and matrix choice questions will be ordered alphabetically. So, if you use these question types for relationship questions one possibility is to add the name of a location or division before the name of the individuals. The individuals will then be sorted by that location or division. For example, "New York - John Citizen", "London - Jane Citizen", etc.

Matrix of Choices

The matrix question type allows you to specify a number of column headings and the respondent will then select one or more options for each row. If you would like the respondent to only select one option for each row then you should change Multiple Selections to No, otherwise leave it on the default of yes. For non-relationship questions you have the ability to manually add row headings. For relationship questions though the row headings will come from the source of relationships that you select.

Search And Select

The search and select question type is mostly used for relationship questions where there are a large number of potential names / items for the respondent to select from. If there are more than ~200 items in the list then a multiple choice question becomes infeasible and it is generally better to use the Search and Select question which scales up to 10's of thousands of items in the list. For search and select questions, the respondent will start typing a name and the best matches will be presented to them to select from.

Search and select questions can be non-relationship questions too in which case you will see an Answer Options input but most often the items to select from will come from the source of relationships selected. Just as for multiple choice questions, you will find that you have the ability to enforce a minimum and maximum number of selections under Advanced Options.

Descriptive Text

The descriptive text question type allows you to write text where no input is required by the respondent. You can use it for introductory text or to create headings in the survey. There is only one option for descriptive text and that is to make the text a heading.


Don't forget that you can use markdown with descriptive text questions to insert images, links, tables and headings. Headings created via markdown are an alternative to using the built-in heading option for descriptive text questions.

Page Break

It's possible to divide your survey up into multiple pages. Simply insert a Page Break question type where you would like a new page to begin.


If you are using question piping it's necessary to insert a page break prior to the question that you are piping to.

Moving and Editing Questions

Once you have added your first question you will see that there are five buttons to the top left of the question you have just added:

  1. Edit: Click this button to edit the text and/or settings for the question.
  2. Move Up: Click this button to move the question up once.
  3. Move Down: Click this button to move the question down once.
  4. Clone: Clone the question by clicking here.
  5. Delete: Delete the question by clicking here.

Checking and Previewing a Survey

To the bottom right of the questions input page you will see three buttons:

  1. Check Survey: This button will run a few checks on the survey and let you know if there are any issues. For example, if you do not have a page break in between a piped question and the question that is being piped from it will let you know.
  2. Preview Survey: Click this button for a quick preview of the survey. Input validation is not applied to survey previews so that you don't have to input a valid answer for each question in order to preview the whole survey.
  3. Continue: Once you have finished creating your survey click this button to proceed to the next step.

Respondent Lists

The second step in creating a survey is to upload your lists. You can navigate to this step by either clicking on Lists which is towards to the top of the page in the Edit view for a survey or by clicking on the Continue button from the Questions page.

Once on the lists page you will see two tabs - Respondent List and Supplementary Lists. You will recall that for relationship questions you could select the Source of Relationships to be either a Respondent List or a Supplementary List or the selections piped from an earlier response. It is here that you upload both the Respondent List and any Supplementary Lists that you may require.

Turning first to the Respondent List, you will see that for each new survey a simple default respondent list with five example respondents is pre-populated. In order to upload your own respondent list you will need to click Upload Respondent List. From this dialogue you can download a template Respondent List which will be an Excel file with five columns:

  1. Name: This should be the full name of your respondents such as John Citizen. You should enter this name as the first name followed by the last name without any commas in between. All the names in your relationship-based survey need to be unique. If there are multiple people in your respondent list with the same name you should add some kind of identifying information to the name such as Location, Division or Email in brackets after their name. Many HRIS systems provide both formal and preferred names - generally you should use the preferred names of respondents rather than their formal legal names.
  2. Email: Enter the emails of all of your respondents here. If you plan on using some of Polinode's more advanced functionality for distribution, i.e. other than email, you can enter dummy emails here in the form of "", "", etc. All emails need to be unique.
  3. firstName: Optionally you can enter the first name of respondents in this column. The first name of respondents is available when sending out emails to respondents and also on the splash page that greets respondents when they first click their unique link. If you don't include a firstName column in your respondent list then that part of the Name column before the first space will be used as the first name of the respondent. The firstName column does not have to be unique and is not limited to a single word - you can enter multiple words or even non-unique full names for respondents, i.e. it can be used as a flexible variable that you have access to in both the email and splash page but is most often used to enter the first name of respondents.
  4. Example Categorical Attribute: You can upload additional attributes for your respondents in the Respondent List. Any columns in Excel that are not one of the reserved names above will be interpreted as additional attributes on your respondents. For example, you could include Gender, Tenure, Division, Location, etc as additional columns in the Excel file.
  5. Example Numerical Attribute: This column in the template Respondent List is just to illustrate how you can add numerical attributes as well as categorical attributes.

Once you have created your Respondent List you will want to click Choose File and then select that file in order to upload it. A number of checks will be performed and any errors reported back to you. You will also want to ensure that you have sufficient respondent credits to upload your list. One respondent credit is required for every row in the file (i.e. regardless of whether the respondent submits a response or not). You can upload respondent lists with up to 10 respondents at no charge though, i.e. no credits are required or will be debited provided the list is 10 rows or less.

One your list is uploaded you will see all of your respondents in a paginated table. It's then possible to edit the name or email of any respondent individually by clicking the Edit button. Generally though, if you want to edit the respondent list you should first click Download Respondent List and then make any changes to that file before clicking Upload Respondent List and uploading the revised list. For example, you can add additional respondents by exporting the list and adding rows then uploading the updated list. When you do this, you will only be debited for the incremental respondent credits required. For example, if your survey has 100 respondents and you add 10 more by uploading a list with 110 respondents then you will only be debited 10 respondent credits. You should not upload just the incremental 10 respondents as that would delete the first 100 respondents and all of their responses. A clear warning is provided before any respondents are deleted on the upload of a new list - if you see this warning and are in any doubt please contact support. You can also edit attributes and remove respondents by uploading a revised list. A respondent will be edited if any of the name, email or unique id (provided on export) matches that of an existing respondent. A respondent will be deleted if none of name, email or the unique id is present in an uploaded list.

When you first upload a respondent list for a survey you will see that the status of all respondents is set to "Not Sent", i.e. a yellow circle. In total there are seven values that a respondent can have for status:

  1. Not Sent: Indicates that no initial email communication has been sent to the respondent yet.
  2. Not Started: Indicates that a respondent has received the initial email communication but has not yet started completing the survey. A respondent's status will automatically be changed to Not Started once the initial email is sent to them.
  3. Started: Indicates that a respondent has started completing the survey but has not yet submitted their response. A respondent's status will automatically be changed to Started once they have started completing the survey.
  4. Submitted: Indicates that a respondent has completed and submitted their response to the survey. A respondent's status will automatically be changed to Submitted once they click the Submit button on the final page of the survey. Once a respondent's status is Submitted they will not be able to access their response in order to change it for privacy reasons. However, you can manually change their response to Started to reopen it if so desired.
  5. Starred: A special status that you may use to select a single respondent or group of respondents in order to email them. Once an email has been sent to respondents with a Starred status their status will automatically return to what it was previously unless it has been updated in the interim.
  6. Bounced: Changing the status of the response to Bounced indicates that an email communication to the respondent has bounced. A respondent's status will automatically be set as Bounced if an email to that respondent is recorded as having bounced. To fix bounced email addresses you may export the respondent list and edit the impacted email addresses before re-uploading the list. You should then navigate to Manage and Follow-up Emails. Select the respondents with Bounced status in order to resend them the intital email. Their status will then be automatically updated (and will revert to Bounced if the email bounces again).
  7. Opted Out: Changing the status of the response to Opted Out indicates that a respondent no longer wishes to receive any communication about the survey. A respondent's status will automatically be changed to Opted Out if they report an email sent in connection to the survey as spam.

Generally you should let the application automatically update and manage the status of each respondent but it is possible to manually change the status of individual respondents by clicking on their status in this view and selecting a new status. For example, you can change a status from Submitted to Started in order to give the respondent the ability to edit their response. Or you can change a status to Starred to send a specific group an email or you can change a respondent manually to Opted Out if they should no longer receive email reminders.


You can easily obtain the current status as well as the unique URL for each respondent by exporting the respondent list from this view.

Supplementary Lists

The other type of list that you can upload in Polinode is a Supplementary List. Each survey can have multiple Supplementary Lists or it may have none at all. Basically, Supplementary Lists allow you to ask relationship questions about a set of items that is more general than just the Respondents to the survey. They may be used to ask relationship questions about a superset or subset of the respondents (for example asking a division about everyone in an organization or vice versa). Alternatively, they can be used to ask questions about items that aren't related to the respondents at all or aren't people, including abstract ideas such as values.

In order to upload a Supplementary List, navigate to the Supplementary Lists tab for the Lists page within the Edit survey view. Then click New Supplementary List. Just as for Respondent Lists you will be able to download a template file. This file is very similar to the Respondent List template file except that there are only three columns - Name, Example Categorical Attribute and Example Numerical Attribute. Email and firstName are not relevant for Supplementary Lists. Name should of course still be unique but can be the name of anything (i.e. is not limited to people). Any columns other Name will be interpreted as attributes and the two example columns in the template file illustrate this.

One important point about the relationship between Supplementary Lists and Respondent Lists is that if the Name is exactly the same (including case) across any lists in the same survey then the nodes will be synced up, i.e. treated as one node. For example, if I include John Citizen in the Respondent List and John Citizen in the Supplementary List and ask a question using the Supplementary List then the respondent John Citizen will be treated as the same node as the Supplementary List item John Citizen. They are effectively synced.


When using a supplementary list that has the same names in it as the respondent list, it's important that the attributes across the two lists are the same and all attributes (i.e. columns) are included across both lists. This is because the supplementary list items are synced to the respondent list items when the name matches and changing the attributes for one will change the attributes for the other. So, if you upload a supplementary list after your respondent list with no attributes then those attributes will be removed from the respondent list items as well.

Supplementary lists can be updated in a very similar way to respondent lists. Simply export the list, make any required changes and then re-upload the list. There is also a delete button to remove any lists that are no longer required.

Uploading a supplementary list does not require any respondent credits, i.e. if you run a survey with 100 respondents and use two supplementary lists each with 200 items then only 100 respondent credits are required. There are some fairly generous limits on the length of supplementary lists and the number of attributes that you can upload for performance reasons. If you encounter a message that indicates you have exceeded these limits please get in touch with support.

Setting Up the Initial Email

Once you've uploaded your Respondent List and, optionally, any Supplementary Lists the third step in creating a survey is to set up the initial email that will be used to distribute the survey to all respondents. To do this either click on the Continue button at the bottom right or on the third step near the top of the page, Collect Responses. The Email tab will be open automatically. By default the from name for the email will be your name but it can be changed in this field and you may use a different from name for every survey. You can also customize the text for the email subject line and the email body that respondents will receive.

Only plain text emails are supported (i.e. markdown or HTML is not supported in emails). However, there are three fields that will be automatically replaced (i.e. a mail merge will be processed) if they are present in either the subject or body of the email:

  1. {firstName}: This text will be replaced with the first name of the respondent. If you included a firstName column in the respondent list that you uploaded then that value will be used here. If not, then the first word (i.e. before the first space) in the Name column of the respondent list will be used.
  2. {fullName}: This text will be replaced with the Name column in the respondent list.
  3. {url}: Every respondent has a unique url that, when clicked, will take them to their response. This text will be replaced with the respondents unique URL. The initial email must contain this url placeholder and you will see an error message if you attempt to send an initial email without it. Follow-up emails on the other hand do not necessarily need to contain this url placeholder.

Once you have customized the text of your email you can test it by clicking on the Send Test Email button. A dialogue will open and you can enter the email or emails (separate multiple emails with either a comma or semi-colon) to send the test email to. Those emails will receive an email with a test url link and where the respondent name is "Test Name".

After reviewing the test email and making sure that you are happy with the content of the survey using the test link you can launch the survey by clicking the Email Survey button. You will be asked for confirmation and when ready should click Email All. All respondents will then receive an email with their unique URL. Emails will be sent at a maximum rate of 10 per second so it will, for example, take approximately 2 minutes to send emails to 1,000 respondents. There may also be a pause of a few minutes before the emails start to send. The emails will be sent with the display name that you set as the from name but will actually originate from The Reply To address on those emails will be the email address of the survey owner though.

Welcome and Completion Messages

The second tab in the Collect Responses view is the Messages tab. You will see that there are two messages here that you can customize:

  1. Welcome Message: This is the message that respondents will see when they first click their unique link. Generally it's a good idea to include their name in this message as respondents can sometimes forward their email containing their unique link onto others. By default there is a message that contains the respondent's full name in bold. Both {firstName} and {fullName} can be used in this message and will be replaced in the same way as they are in the email message.
  2. Completion Message: The completion message is the message that respondents will see after they have clicked submit at the end of the survey and you can customize the text for that message in this input as well. Both {firstName} and {fullName} are also supported here.


Markdown is supported for both the welcome and completion message which means you can add images, tables, headings, links, italics, bold, etc.

Advanced Options For Collecting Responses

The third tab under the Collect Responses view contains a series of Advanced Options designed to give you more control over the collection of responses. Most of the time you shouldn't need to use these advanced options but they are present to support some relatively advanced use cases.

The first option is to redirect the respondent to a URL of your choosing after they complete the survey. By default they will see the completion message that you can customize for them but it is also possible to redirect them to an alternative URL by entering that URL here.

Then next option is only available to Enterprise and Partner customers (i.e. you will only see it if you are a member of an organization). It is called Webhook on Completion. You can enter here a URL that Polinode will post to once a respondent submmits a survey. Polinode will post the unique identifier for that response to that URL on submission so that the full response may be requested via the API if desired for real-time access and reporting.

The next option is to allow respondents to edit their responses after they have been submitted. For reasons of privacy and confidentiality the default is to not allow submitted responses to be edited. However, you can override this here and allow respondents to edit their already submitted responses. This may be helpful for example if you would like to give respondents the ability to update their responses on an ongoing basis over a relatively long period of time.

The final advanced option is to use a single link for the distribution of the survey. In most cases it is preferable to use the built-in mail merge functionality detailed above. However, sometimes respondents may not have email addresses or you may not have access to those email addresses. In these situations it's possible to use a single link. You can then distribute the single link to respondents and they can use that link to take the survey. Once the single link option is activated you will see a number of other options appear:

  • Respondent Limit: Each time a respondent uses the single link to take the survey that will use up a respondent credit. You can set a limit for the total number of respondents able to take the survey here.
  • Sign Up Required: If sign up is required then respondents must enter their name and some other piece of identifying information before taking the survey. Usually this piece of identifying information is email but it could be something else like employee id. If sign up is not required then the respondents don't need to enter any identifying information. Effectively they will be anonymous. Given the nature of relationship-based surveys it's generally not desirable to allow respondents to be anonymous. If the identifying information is an email then respondents will be emailed the link to take the survey. If it is something other than email then they will be taken directly to their response after entering the matching information.
  • Name Autocompletion: If true then at the single link screen the names of respondents will be autocompleted when a name is typed in and only the names of respondents that are in the respondent list will be allowed.
  • Identifying Information: This is the identifying information that will be used to validate respondents. By default it is email which is of course already included in each respondent list. You can enter another custom attribute though such as "employee ID" and then, provided that attribute is included in the respondent list, respondents will be asked for that identifying information before being granted access to their response.
  • Permitted Domains: It's possible to limit the domains of email addresses that respondents can sign up with. For example, you could ensure that only respondents that enter an email address that contains "" will be able to receive the survey via email and take it.


If you want to use email as the identifying but have respondents taken directly to their response rather than emailed their link then you should use something other than "email" as the identifying information. For example, you could use "your work email" as the identifying information and then include that attribute in the respondent list.


Once you've launched your survey you will want to monitor the responses received and manage it. You can do this by clicking on Manage for your survey. The first tab that you will see open after doing so is the Dashboard which provides you with a summary of:

  1. The total number of respondents in the survey
  2. The total number of responses received (i.e. respondents who have clicked Submit and therefore have a status of Submitted)
  3. The response rate (i.e. 1 divided by 2)
  4. The total number of bounced email addresses


To deal with bounced email addresses where the email address was incorrect export the respondent list and make the appropriate changes to email addresses then re-upload it. Next navigate to Manage and then Send Emails for your survey. Click on Bounced to select all those respondents for whom the email previously bounced. Click the Copy Initial Email button if you would like to use it as a base. When you are ready click Email Selected Respondents. The status of respondents will change to Not Started unless the email bounces again, in which case, it will change back to Bounced.


There is a single setting that you can edit under Manage for a survey and that is the name of the survey. Simply click edit and change the name of the survey to the new name before clicking Save.


The responses tab under Manage gives you the ability to both view and enter individual responses for respondents. To enter a response click on the edit button for a respondent. You can search for specific respondents using the search input at the top of the page.

Once a response has been submitted you will see that there is both a View Response button as well as a time and date for the Submitted On column. If you click the View Response button you will be taken to the response presented on a single page so that you can view the entire set of questions easily. It's possible to sort responses by the submitted time by clicking on the Submitted On heading.

It's also possible to clear an individual response from this view using the Clear Response button. You can also clear all responses with the Clear All Responses button. And you can download the respondent list with the Download Respondent List button - this will give you a summary of status as well as the unique links for each respondent in an Excel file.

The status of each respondent is indicated by a colored circle which it's possible to edit by clicking the circle. For details on each status please see Respondent Lists.

Follow-up Emails

Typically you will want to send reminder emails to respondents who have not yet completed the survey and you can do this under Manage and then Follow-up Emails. Here it is possible to send emails to all respondents with a certain status, which, for the purposes of sending reminder emails, is usually "Not Started" and "Started".

You can use the "Copy Initial Email" button to quickly populate the subject and body of the reminder email. You can then customize it by, for example, adding "Reminder:" to the subject line. Just as for sending the initial email, it's possible to send yourself and/or others a test email for the reminder email. Once you are satisfied with the email you will want to click the "Email Selected Respondents" button which will ask for confirmation before sending the email to all respondents with the selected status.


If you would like to send an email to an individual or a small set of individuals you can do this using the Starred status. Simply change status of the relevant respondents under Manage then Responses to Starred and then select the Starred status here. Once you have sent the email to these individuals their status will automatically revert to what it was prior to you changing it to Starred.

Managing User Permissions

By default only the Owner of a survey has access to that survey. The Owner of a survey is the user who first created that survey. However, the Owner of a survey can grant permission to other users to access that survey. You do this by clicking on the Add User button. A dialogue will appear where you enter the email address of the user that you want to add. Then click Check. Polinode will check whether that user already has a Polinode account and let you know whether they do or not. After you have entered the email of the user you will want to edit the permissions that you would like to grant them. You can grant a user either Edit or View permissions. With Edit permissions they can change things like survey questions, edit responses, etc. With View permissions only they can just view the survey but cannot edit it.

The other thing that you will need to decide is whether the user you are adding will have permission to grant other users access to the survey themselves. And whether or not they will have the ability to remove the access of other users (or edit their permissions).

Once you have selected the appropriate permissions, click the Add button and the user will receive an email informing them that they have been granted access to the survey. If the user doesn't already have a Polinode account they will receive an invitation to create a Polinode account at the same time.

This Users tab for a survey will only be visible to users that have the ability to add or edit users for the network. If a user does not have that ability then instead of seeing the user tab they will see a permissions tab that lets them know what their own permissions are.

It's also possible to add and manage users for a particular survey in bulk by using the Upload File button.

Generating Networks

Once a relationship-based survey is complete you can change the status of the survey to "Completed" by clicking on status for the survey. You will likely then want to generate the networks for the survey. To do this click on the Generate button and a dialogue will open which lets you select whether you would like to generate networks for all relationship questions with a single click (the first tab in the dialogue) or, alternatively, you can generate networks individually by using the second tab. Since each generated network will use a private network you may want to generate the networks individually to use less private networks than otherwise might be the case.

When you generate networks from a survey for the first time there is a connection created between the survey and the generated networks. This is helpful as it's possible to generate networks while a survey is still live (i.e. incomplete). If you then subsequently generate networks for that survey again then the data in the previously generated networks will be updated. That is to say that new networks won't be created but rather the underlying network will be updated, leaving any views previously created unchanged. This is also helpful if you want to edit some attributes in the respondent list. You can make the change to the respondent list and then simply regenerate the networks.


When you generate networks from a survey, those networks will automatically have the same permissions as the survey that they are generated from. For example, if a user has Edit access to the survey they will automatically have Edit access to all the networks generated from that survey.

Exporting Responses

Of course you don't need to generate networks in order to access the raw data collected via your survey. You can simply click the Export button instead and an Excel spreadsheet containing all of the responses will be downloaded to your computer. The format of this export is a series of worksheets, the first of which will contain all attributes on your nodes (both those that you uploaded as well as those collected by non-relationship questions) and then a worksheet will be included for each relationship question in the survey and that worksheet will include all nominations for that question.

Cloning a Survey

If you would like to re-use an existing survey for a different group of respondents you can click the clone button next to that survey and then enter a new name for the cloned survey and click OK. A cloned version of that survey will then be added to your list of surveys and you can click Edit for this survey and customize the questions as desired.

When you clone a survey the respondent list will not be cloned, rather five example respondents will be included in the same way that they are included when creating a new survey from scratch. It's important to note though that Supplementary Lists will be cloned. So, if you clone a survey and need to update the Supplementary List be sure to do so or to remove any Supplementary Lists that you no longer require in the cloned survey.

Deleting a Survey

When you are finished with your relationship-based survey best practice is to export the data (and store it if required) and then remove it from Polinode. A delete button is provided for this. When you click the delete button you will be asked to confirm that you wish to delete the survey and, if you do confirm, the survey will be removed as well as responses for it and all lists for that survey. This data will be permanently removed immediately.