Implementing Novel, Flexible, and Powerful Survey Designs in R Shiny

Aaron Kaufman
Forthcoming in PLOS ONE

Survey research in the social sciences is ubiquitous as a cost-effective and time-efficient means of collecting data. However, the available software for implementing and disseminating such surveys lacks flexibility, stifling researcher creativity and severely limiting the scope of questions that survey research can address. In this paper, I introduce the use ofR Shiny, an open source web application and scripting language, for implementing powerful, innovative, and fully customizable surveys. Through five applications and accompanying software, I show that R Shiny allows for (1) randomized question selection, (2) programmatic treatments, (3) programmatic survey flow, (4) adaptive question batteries, and (5) sequentially block-randomized designs, expanding the scope, ease, and cost effectiveness of online survey research.

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