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Citing Qualtrics in academic research

Let’s be honest: the worst part of any academic project is citing your sources, and with so many rotating paper formats, most of us leave writing citations to the last minute. We’ve got you covered. Below are the appropriate guidelines for citing Qualtrics in an academic research paper, APA.

Discover best practices for modern market research. 

General citation guidelines

  • Company Name: Qualtrics
  • Development Company: Qualtrics
  • First release: 2005
  • Copyright Year (current year): 2020
  • Location: Provo, Utah, USA
  • Version: current Month(s) and year(s) of use
  • Available at:

General in-text citation

We find the best approach for citing Qualtrics in-text is to put the company name and location in parentheses (Qualtrics, Provo, UT). This functions similar to how you would document a vendor of laboratory supplies (since we’re also a vendor of sorts, as we vend data).

Example citation

The [output/code/data analysis] for this paper was generated using Qualtrics software, Version [insert version] of Qualtrics. Copyright © [insert year of copyright] Qualtrics. Qualtrics and all other Qualtrics product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of Qualtrics, Provo, UT, USA.

You’re welcome! Go ahead and use those few extra minutes to spellcheck one more time. Or if you need a break, read this article to see how Qualtrics Community can help you can optimize further projects.

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Qualtrics // Experience Management

Qualtrics is the technology platform that organizations use to collect, manage, and act on experience data, also called X-data™. The Qualtrics XM Platform™ is a system of action, used by teams, departments, and entire organizations to manage the four core experiences of business—customer, product, employee, and brand—on one platform.

Over 12,000 enterprises worldwide, including more than 75 percent of the Fortune 100 and 99 of the top 100 U.S. business schools, rely on Qualtrics to consistently build products that people love, create more loyal customers, develop a phenomenal employee culture, and build iconic brands.

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How to cite Qualtrics in an APA-formatted paper?

  • 5 years ago 4 June 2018

Best answer by Jenah 7 June 2018, 17:26


  • Rich_Boits_Walker
  • QPN Level 3 ●●●


  • Qualtrics Employee
  • 149 replies
  • 5 years ago 7 June 2018


  • 3 years ago 11 February 2020


  • 1 year ago 23 April 2022

The guidelines do not meet the requirements for APA. It needs to be something like (Qualtrics, New Mexico, 2009)

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Page numbers are only required for direct quotations in the in-text citation. They follow the author and date in bracketed format separated by commas - e.g. (Cottrell, 2013, p.15).  

Use the abbreviations p. for a single page and pp. for pages with a space before the number. List the page numbers completely, for example pp.176-179 instead of pp.176-9. 

Do not include page numbers in the in-text citation when summarising or paraphrasing - only the author and the date are required.

References that only need an in-text citation


For a general mention of a website with no indication of particular information or a specific page, no reference list entry or in-text citation is needed. Provide the name of the website and include the URL in brackets. For example, if you used a website to create a survey, you only need to mention the website in the text - e.g. the survey was created using Qualtrics ( ). Similarly, for common software and mobile apps it is sufficient to mention the name of the programme or app and the version used in the text without providing an in-text citation or reference list entry. Examples of common software include Microsoft Office, social media apps, survey software, Adobe products and statistical programmes (e.g. R, SPSS). 

Personal communication 

As these are unrecoverable sources, they are cited in the text only - no reference list entry is required. Examples include personal interviews, emails, text messages, telephone conversations, online chats, unrecorded classroom lectures, etc. To cite them in text, provide the initial(s) and surname of the communicator and provide an exact date, e.g.: 

C. Hill (personal communication, March 27, 2019) 

(M. Zhang, personal communication, July 21, 2020) 

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Published data or unpublished raw data, computer software, mobile apps, apparatuses, equipment, tests, scales, and inventories all fall under this category.

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Software Citation APA 7 - RStudio and Qualtrics

As part of my social psychology academic research paper, I have difficulty finding information about Software citations. I used the 'R Studio' IDE to do the statistical analysis, and used 'Qualtrics' for my survey.

According to the APA 7, do I even need to cite them? If so, how?

  • citation-style

Stephan Kolassa's user avatar

  • 1 R Studio is an editor, you used R to do your analysis. –  Azor Ahai -him- Jun 20 at 22:42
  • 2 Please differentiate between R (the software package) and RStudio (the IDE). R contains the logic that we are interested in here. RStudio is just the IDE used to work with R. Citing RStudio makes about as much sense as citing Microsoft Word, which the paper was presumably written in. –  Stephan Kolassa Jun 21 at 6:36
  • For reproducibility , you may want to cite. Is it compulsory I think it's not. Note that you may simply note R and RStudio (with their versions) within your text –  semmyk-research Jun 21 at 7:52

2 Answers 2

You may want to give this Academia question a read.

I'm unsure if RStudio will fall under the common software category within the context of your discipline. Might be worthwhile referencing though for reproducibility .

There's a difference between R and RStudio (the IDE).

APA provides a guide for citing Data Sets, Software, and Tests 10.10 Computer Software, Mobile Apps, Apparatuses, and Equipment

ECU has APA 7 guide for software referencing.

A commonly used citation is (see for instance NIST's citation which is not APA): RStudio Team. 2020. RStudio: Integrated Development Environment for R . Boston, MA: RStudio, PBC.

However, given the ' takeover / overhaul ', we'll be looking at: RStudio Team. (2023). RStudio Desktop IDE (Version 2023.06.0-421) [Computer software]. PBC.

NB: I believe should be replaced with the proper Posit link.

For R , you can tag along the line: R Core Team (2023). R (4.3.1) : A language and environment for statistical computing . R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.

  • NB: you may use the citation() function in R

[For noting] Please note suggested generic citation from Posit (PBC) without versioning!

  • RStudio Team (2020). RStudio: Integrated Development for R . RStudio, PBC, Boston, MA. .

semmyk-research's user avatar

  • RStudio is not created by the "R Team", whatever that is. There is an R Core Team that is the collective author of R. May I suggest you edit your post? You give three different citations for RStudio ( which I would argue it does not make sense to cite at all ), and one for R (which should indeed be cited, but with the version number , please), but without a leading bullet point, so it may get missed. –  Stephan Kolassa Jun 21 at 6:41
  • @StephanKolassa Thanks. You're right, there's the R core team and there's the RStudio team (which now falls under Posit). RStudio Team remain commonly used. The 'bullet point' was for emphasis, but I see it gets misinterpreted, so I've removed. Thanks for that. –  semmyk-research Jun 21 at 7:44

It could be important to cite specific packages that you use within R. These documentations are easily findable with a google search of the package.

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how to cite qualtrics

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Qualtrics online surveys make it easy for you to collect data from a small or large group of people. Gather information quickly and easily from employees, members, or customers using an online survey. 

NDSU faculty, staff, and students may use Qualtrics to build surveys and gather information on:

  • Behavior:  Inquire about the past, present, or intended behaviors.
  • Demographic characteristics:  Research a wide variety of classification data, such as the participant’s age, sex, income, and occupation.
  • Level of knowledge:  Measure the knowledge base of a group.
  • Attitudes and opinions:  Conduct opinion polls on various topics relating to the community, customers, board of directors, stakeholders, or employees.
  • General information and research:  Conduct timely and in-depth research on a wide variety of topics. Gain data quickly and easily, without manually entering and tabulating results.

Participants complete surveys electronically on their own time and demographics are easily identified through generated reports. The versatile features allow you to direct participants to answer only applicable questions and to prompt participants if a question is skipped or answered in an incorrect format. The results are instantly added to group data and reports are generated automatically to include a wide range of statistics, charts, and graphs that can be customized. Data can be exported for further analysis based on your needs (Note: Additional charges may apply for customization).

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Citing or Referencing Qualtrics in Research

Because Qualtrics is such a vital part of research, it is common to cite Qualtrics within a research project or paper. View Qualtrics' citation and reference guidelines .


Collaboration on Qualtrics surveys among individuals at NDSU is encouraged. Before you begin collaborating with another individual, be sure they have registered for a Qualtrics account through NDSU . Remember to transfer ownership of all Qualtrics surveys from any faculty, staff, or student leaving NDSU. Survey information will be lost upon deactivation of the accounts for individuals leaving NDSU. To request a survey transfer, email Linda Charlton Gunderson .

There are many ways to get assistance with designing your Qualtrics surveys. GDC staff in-house experts want to ensure your survey is making use of all the basic and advanced features offered through the Qualtrics software. Many of these features can increase the efficiency of your surveys for both you and the survey respondent. 

Our in-house expert is happy to review your survey, make suggestions for improvements, and demonstrate features that will enhance the functionality of your survey. 

GDC staff are unable to set up surveys on behalf of individuals or groups who request it due to the large volume of Student Course Experience Surveys our in-house expert sets up each semester (more than 1,500 surveys per semester). 

View our tips page for ways to make producing Qualtrics surveys more efficient and effective.  

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How to Cite Sources | Citation Generator & Quick Guide

Citing your sources is essential in  academic writing . Whenever you quote or paraphrase a source (such as a book, article, or webpage), you have to include a  citation crediting the original author.

Failing to properly cite your sources counts as plagiarism , since you’re presenting someone else’s ideas as if they were your own.

The most commonly used citation styles are APA and MLA. The free Scribbr Citation Generator is the quickest way to cite sources in these styles. Simply enter the URL, DOI, or title, and we’ll generate an accurate, correctly formatted citation.

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Citations are required in all types of academic texts. They are needed for several reasons:

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A citation is needed whenever you integrate a source into your writing. This usually means quoting or paraphrasing:

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Citations are needed whether you quote or paraphrase, and whatever type of source you use. As well as citing scholarly sources like books and journal articles, don’t forget to include citations for any other sources you use for ideas, examples, or evidence. That includes websites, YouTube videos , and lectures .

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how to cite qualtrics

Usually, your institution (or the journal you’re submitting to) will require you to follow a specific citation style, so check your guidelines or ask your instructor.

In some cases, you may have to choose a citation style for yourself. Make sure to pick one style and use it consistently:

  • APA Style is widely used in the social sciences and beyond.
  • MLA style is common in the humanities.
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  • There are many other citation styles for different disciplines.

If in doubt, check with your instructor or read other papers from your field of study to see what style they follow.

In most styles, your citations consist of:

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  • A reference list or bibliography containing full information on all the sources you’ve cited

In-text citations most commonly take the form of parenthetical citations featuring the last name of the source’s author and its year of publication (aka author-date citations).

An alternative to this type of in-text citation is the system used in numerical citation styles , where a number is inserted into the text, corresponding to an entry in a numbered reference list.

There are also note citation styles , where you place your citations in either footnotes or endnotes . Since they’re not embedded in the text itself, these citations can provide more detail and sometimes aren’t accompanied by a full reference list or bibliography.

A reference list (aka “Bibliography” or “Works Cited,” depending on the style) is where you provide full information on each of the sources you’ve cited in the text. It appears at the end of your paper, usually with a hanging indent applied to each entry.

The information included in reference entries is broadly similar, whatever citation style you’re using. For each source, you’ll typically include the:

  • Author name
  • Publication date
  • Container (e.g., the book an essay was published in, the journal an article appeared in)
  • Location (e.g., a URL or DOI , or sometimes a physical location)

The exact information included varies depending on the source type and the citation style. The order in which the information appears, and how you format it (e.g., capitalization, use of italics) also varies.

Most commonly, the entries in your reference list are alphabetized by author name. This allows the reader to easily find the relevant entry based on the author name in your in-text citation.


In numerical citation styles, the entries in your reference list are numbered, usually based on the order in which you cite them. The reader finds the right entry based on the number that appears in the text.

Vancouver reference list example

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Because each style has many small differences regarding things like italicization, capitalization , and punctuation , it can be difficult to get every detail right. Using a citation generator can save you a lot of time and effort.

Scribbr offers citation generators for both APA and MLA style. Both are quick, easy to use, and 100% free, with no ads and no registration required.

Just input a URL or DOI or add the source details manually, and the generator will automatically produce an in-text citation and reference entry in the correct format. You can save your reference list as you go and download it when you’re done, and even add annotations for an annotated bibliography .

Once you’ve prepared your citations, you might still be unsure if they’re correct and if you’ve used them appropriately in your text. This is where Scribbr’s other citation tools and services may come in handy:

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Plagiarism means passing off someone else’s words or ideas as your own. It’s a serious offense in academia. Universities use plagiarism checking software to scan your paper and identify any similarities to other texts.

When you’re dealing with a lot of sources, it’s easy to make mistakes that could constitute accidental plagiarism. For example, you might forget to add a citation after a quote, or paraphrase a source in a way that’s too close to the original text.

Using a plagiarism checker yourself before you submit your work can help you spot these mistakes before they get you in trouble. Based on the results, you can add any missing citations and rephrase your text where necessary.

Try out the Scribbr Plagiarism Checker for free, or check out our detailed comparison of the best plagiarism checkers available online.

Scribbr Plagiarism Checker

Scribbr’s Citation Checker is a unique AI-powered tool that automatically detects stylistic errors and inconsistencies in your in-text citations. It also suggests a correction for every mistake.

Currently available for APA Style, this is the fastest and easiest way to make sure you’ve formatted your citations correctly. You can try out the tool for free below.

If you need extra help with your reference list, we also offer a more in-depth Citation Editing Service.

Our experts cross-check your in-text citations and reference entries, make sure you’ve included the correct information for each source, and improve the formatting of your reference page.

If you want to handle your citations yourself, Scribbr’s free Knowledge Base provides clear, accurate guidance on every aspect of citation. You can see citation examples for a variety of common source types below:

And you can check out our comprehensive guides to the most popular citation styles:

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The abbreviation “ et al. ” (Latin for “and others”) is used to shorten citations of sources with multiple authors.

“Et al.” is used in APA in-text citations of sources with 3+ authors, e.g. (Smith et al., 2019). It is not used in APA reference entries .

Use “et al.” for 3+ authors in MLA in-text citations and Works Cited entries.

Use “et al.” for 4+ authors in a Chicago in-text citation , and for 10+ authors in a Chicago bibliography entry.

The Scribbr Citation Generator is developed using the open-source Citation Style Language (CSL) project and Frank Bennett’s citeproc-js . It’s the same technology used by dozens of other popular citation tools, including Mendeley and Zotero.

You can find all the citation styles and locales used in the Scribbr Citation Generator in our publicly accessible repository on Github .

APA format is widely used by professionals, researchers, and students in the social and behavioral sciences, including fields like education, psychology, and business.

Be sure to check the guidelines of your university or the journal you want to be published in to double-check which style you should be using.

MLA Style  is the second most used citation style (after APA ). It is mainly used by students and researchers in humanities fields such as literature, languages, and philosophy.

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how to cite qualtrics

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  • Item Coding

Qualtrics Tutorials: Item Coding

  • Informed Consent
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  • How to Cite the Tutorials

Coding of Multiple Choice Questions

When you create a multiple choice question on a Qualtrics survey, Qualtrics automatically assigns a numeric code to each answer. When your survey data is exported to Excel or SPSS, those numeric codes appear in the dataset as "shorthand", and the text of the responses are used as value labels. This has the benefit of simplifying data analysis, especially if your items' responses are ordinal.

There are several things to keep in mind when creating multiple choice items in Qualtrics:

  • When creating the responses to a multiple choice question, numeric codes are automatically assigned to each response in increasing numeric order (1, 2, 3, ...)
  • If responses to a multiple choice question are added, deleted, and replaced with new options, the numbering will continue to increase sequentially.
  • If you change the order of the responses for an item, the numeric codes associated with each response will stay the same. This may mean that the numeric codes may not be ordinal with respect to the order that the responses appear in.
  • You can safely change item coding anytime before your survey launches. However, after you begin collecting data, DO NOT change the item coding or alter/delete existing answer options. (Doing so risks losing or altering the meaning of the items' codes, making your results uninterpretable.)
A reader asked: How can I apply the information in this tutorial to the Slider question type in Qualtrics? As of this writing (May 2022), Qualtrics's Slider question type does not include the same type of recode functionality that Multiple Choice questions have. Part of this has to do with the design philosophy of the Slider question type: while it can be made to capture ordinal-scaled answers, it is generally intended to be used to capture "true" numeric data (i.e., interval- or ratio-scale measurements). By contrast, Multiple Choice questions are generally intended to be used with nominal- or ordinal-scaled answers. If reverse-coding is desired for Slider questions, it must be applied using alternative means, such as using embedded data variables in the Survey Flow to compute a new variable using a formula, or performing the calculation in a statistical software after data collection.

What is Reverse Coding?

One common validation technique for survey items is to rephrase a "positive" item in a "negative" way. When done properly, this can be used to check if respondents are giving consistent answers.

For example, consider the following two items concerning "extraversion" [1]:

  • Agree strongly
  • Agree a little
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree a little
  • Disagree strongly

For question 1, "agree strongly" corresponds to the "most extraverted" option, and "disagree strongly" corresponds to the "least extraverted" option. However, for question 2, "disagree strongly" corresponds to the "most extraverted" option, and "agree strongly" corresponds to the "least extraverted" option. We say that question 2 is reverse-coded .

The need for an item to be reverse-coded is specific to the instrument and the factor of interest: in particular, what "high" and "low" scores on the instrument are intended to convey.

[1] John, O. P., Donahue, E. M., & Kentle, R. L. (1991). The Big Five Inventory - Versions 4a and 54. Berkeley, CA: University of California, Berkeley, Institute of Personality and Social Research.

Manually Changing Item Coding within Qualtrics

Qualtrics automatically assigns numeric codes for each multiple choice item you create, but it's possible to modify those codes manually.

While editing your survey, click the item whose coding you want to modify. Depending on whether you are using the old survey editor interface or the new editor interface:

Old Survey Editor (April 2021 and earlier):

Click the Advanced Question Options button (the gear icon), then click Recode Values .

how to cite qualtrics

New Survey Editor (May 2021 and later):

In the Edit Question menu, locate the Question Behavior section, then click Recode Values .

The Recode Values window will open. When the window first opens, neither Recode Values nor Variable Naming will be checked off.

how to cite qualtrics

When you check the box next to Recode Values, you will see text boxes appear next to the responses. Here, you can change the numeric code associated with any of the responses. Note that the code assigned to each response must be unique; you can not assign the same code to more than one response.

how to cite qualtrics

When you check the box next to Variable Naming, another set of text boxes will appear. By default, the text in these boxes will be identical to what the response text is.

how to cite qualtrics

The text in the Variable Naming box determines what the value labels will be set to when your data is exported to SPSS or Excel. This setting will not change the text that shown to users on the public version of the survey : it merely changes the value label used in the exported survey dataset.

Automatically Updating Item Coding within Qualtrics

As of May 2021, the new survey editor interface includes a new option to automatically update the item codes for all questions on the survey. This tool is especially helpful if your process of setting up your survey resulted in "messy", non-sequential item codes!

To update the item codes for all questions on the survey, click Tools > Reset Recode Values :

how to cite qualtrics

The Reset Recode Values window will appear. There are two choices:

  • Clear recode values for all questions will "throw out" any item codes you've manually entered. They will return to the "original" item coding that was assigned when you first created the question.
  • Reset recode values to sequential numbers for all questions will automatically update the item coding to be sequential for all applicable questions on the survey. The first option will always have the code 1; the second option will always have the code 2; and so on. (If you have manually specified any item codes, this option will over-write them! So if you plan to manually assign any item codes, we recommend applying this reset first.)

See also: Auto-Number Questions (Tools > Auto-Number Questions).

Item Coding for Built-In Answer Scales

Accessing built-in answer scales.

Qualtrics has many built-in answer scales for multiple choice items. These built-in answer scales include commonly used unipolar and bipolar scales, as well as answer categories for common demographic questions.

In the old survey editor, these built-in options for multiple choice questions can be accessed by clicking the Automatic Choices option in the sidebar menu. In the new survey editor, these can be accessed by clicking the Use suggested choices option in the sidebar menu.

how to cite qualtrics

Default Item Coding for Built-In Scales

When using Qualtrics's built-in Likert items, the response options are always ordered from "positive" to "negative". (The meaning of "positive" or "negative" will vary between scales, but in general, "positive" categories correspond to agreement or high frequency, while "negative" categories correspond to disagreement or low frequency.) Additionally, "positive" answers are coded using smaller numbers, while "negative" answers are coded using larger numbers. Another way of thinking about this is that "positive" answers have a lower score, while "negative" answers have a higher score. For example, Qualtrics's built-in automatic scale for Disagree-Agree scales uses the following order and coding:

Using the Reverse Order option for Built-In Scales

When you have enabled "automatic choices"/"suggested choices" option, the Reverse Order option will be available to reverse-order the items. This means that the responses will be listed from "negative" to "positive". This will also change the coding order, so that the "negative" answers are coded using smaller numbers, and the "positive" answers are coded using large numbers. This is what the built-in Disagree - Agree scale looks like after turning on the Reverse Order option:

To reverse the display order for a Likert item:

Check the Automatic Choices check box, then check the Reverse Order check box at the top of the list. You can then select any of the pre-made scale options, and reverse coding will automatically be applied.

To turn on reverse coding for a Likert item, select the Automatic Choices check box, then select the Reverse Order check box at the top of the list.

In the Edit Question menu, locate the Choices section. After enabling Use suggested choices , check the Reverse order check box.

All editing options related to the built-in suggested choices for multiple choice questions (new May 2021 editor interface).

Note that using this method to reverse-code items changes both the display order and the coding of the response options. This means that if you have a mixture of reverse-coded and non-reverse coded items, using this method to reverse-code your items will mean that some items have the negative choices presented first, while other items will have the positive choices presented first. This inconsistency may confuse respondents. For this reason, we do not recommend using Reverse Order to implement reverse coding unless it will be applied to every Likert item on the survey.

You can verify how responses have been coded by looking at the Recode Values section (described in the Manually Changing Item Coding within Qualtrics section above). In the Recode Values window, select the Recode Values check box. This will display the numeric codes assigned to each response option.

In late 2016, Qualtrics reversed the default "polarity" of their Automatic Choice scales. Prior to October 2016, Automatic Choice scales were ordered from "negative" to "positive", with negative items being scored lower. After October 2016, all Automatic Choice scales are now ordered from "positive" to "negative", with positive items being scored lower. Survey items created before this date are unaffected, but all new survey items created using Automatic Choices (even on pre-existing surveys) will have this new ordering.

New Suggested Choices Options: "Show All" versus "Show First and Last"

As of May 2021, the new survey editor interface includes new options for suggested choices (formerly "automatic choices"): Show All and Show First and Last.

  • Show All displays a descriptive text label for all answer choices.
  • Show First and Last displays a descriptive text label only for the first and the last answer choices. No text labels are displayed for the choices in between.

For example, here's what the built-in Disagree-Agree scale looks like with Show All:

Built-in Disagree-Agree scale with Show All: all 5 answer choices have a text label (Strongly agree, Somewhat agree, Neither agree nor disagree, Somewhat disagree, Strongly disagree).

All five scale points have text labels attached.

Here's what the built-in Disagree-Agree scale looks like with Show First and Last:

Built-in Disagree-Agree scale with Show First and Last: only the first and last of the 5 answer choices have a text label (first label=Strongly agree, last label=Strongly disagree)

Only the first and last scale points have text labels attached; all points in between are unlabeled.

These differences in labeling can have an effect on how respondents answer the questions. If you are implementing an existing, validated survey instrument in Qualtrics, you should follow the text labeling protocol that was used when the instrument was validated. For example, only use the Show First and Last option if the original, validated instrument used that labeling.

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