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Thread: Cloned questionnaires

  1. #1

    Cloned questionnaires

    TAKEN FROM A CLIENT QUESTION: I have several questionnaires in the Designer, and can see the same set of cases for each of them on the ‘Data Manager’ tab. What’s happening?

    Edited response:

    It looks like you have created cloned questionnaires.

    I’ll try to explain….

    Each questionnaire can be identified in two ways
    • By its name
    • By an internal identifier

    You can’t create two questionnaires with the same name, but you can create two or more questionnaires with the same internal identifier. This is known as cloning.

    The Designer uses this internal identifier to define which cases belong to which questionnaire. When you create one or more cloned questionnaires they all have the same internal identifier. All of the interviews created by the clones share the same identifier. This means that each questionnaire treats the whole set of interviews as its own, regardless of which of the cloned set of questionnaires was used to originally create each interview.

    Cloning is potentially useful (we used it to get around the structure problem with your export for example), but it can also cause problems.

    There is a small issue with your version of the software which means it is possible to create a clone by accident if you don’t take care.

    Clones are created by importing a questionnaire that already exists in your database. When you do this you should get this dialogue:


    In your version of the Designer this dialogue only appears if you try to import a questionnaire with the same name as an existing questionnaire - it does not check the internal identifier. This means that if you create a questionnaire ‘QRE’, export it, change the name from ‘QRE’ to ‘NewQRE’ in the Designer, then re-import ‘QRE’, the dialogue will not appear and you will have cloned questionnaires. This is good if you wanted to create clones, not so good if you want to create two independent questionnaires from the same base questionnaire.

    To create an independent COPY of a questionnaire you should:
    • Export your base questionnaire
    • Re-import the base questionnaire. The dialogue above will appear.
    • Give the imported questionnaire a new name in the box on the dialogue
    • Make sure the ‘Clone’ tick box is UN-TICKED then click the <Rename> button.
    • You’ll probably want to change the data folder specified for the second questionnaire to avoid mixing up the interviews.

    The two questionnaires will now only import and export interviews created using them.

    If you are not sure whether you have a clone or not, create an interview using one of the questionnaires (with no/few answers to minimise datapoint consumption). Attempt to import it using the second questionnaire. If the questionnaires are not clones the import will fail. If they are clones the import will proceed and you will be able to see the imported case using either questionnaire.

  2. #2
    PLEASE SEE THIS, WHICH I HAVE COPIED ACROSS FROM THE 'WORKAROUND' FORUM. It is important to appreciate this when considering cloning questionnaires.

    NOT A WORKAROUND BUT A STRONG TIP: Cloning Questionnaires

    Version 2.2 allows the questionnaire designer to ‘Clone’ an interview. This is a powerful and exciting feature of the software which can cause a variety of unintended issues if not used with great care.

    It allows data from two different questionnaires to be exported from either of those questionnaires. There are no constraints currently implemented in the software to ensure that the two cloned questionnaire remain compatible with each other. A rigid development process is required to track and control cloned questionnaires in your work.

    While this feature remains in its early stages of development we advise that you do not use it without reference to your surveybe contact.

    If the ‘Rename Questionnaire to import’ dialogue opens when you are importing a questionnaire into the designer you are advised to rename the imported questionnaire and un-tick the ‘clone’ tick-box.

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