How to re-use a list or scale

Often, the same list or scale is used many times in the same questionnaire, mainly in row groups (rgroups) and column header groups (hgroups). For example, a brand list (rgroup) may need to be used in several different questions. Copying the same list into every question where it is used is time-consuming and error-prone. The same goes for scales (hgroup) that are often used with many questions. If you make a change in the number of points or the direction of the scale, you have to change the scale in all the questions where it is used.

Research Studio allows you to specify the list/scale only once in one place, give the list an ID, and then reuse it in a particular question by simply referring to it. You do this by creating the Lists element from the Data element under the Prolog area. The Lists element is a container that can include one or more List elements. Each List element can also include one or more List Items under it. Each List Item will refer to H attributes (Column Header Group) or Row attributes (Row Group). This element hierarchy is illustrated as follows:

  • Lists
    • List
      • List Item – refers to Column (H)Attributes/Row Attributes
      • List Item - refers to Column (H) Attributes/Row Attributes
    • List
      • List Item - refers to Column (H) Attributes/Row Attributes
      • List Item - refers to Column (H) Attributes/Row Attributes

A two-pronged step is required in order to properly reuse a list:

  1. Create a list that can be reused in the Prolog area and enter an ID for the list.
  2. Reference the list in a specific question using the ID created.

Example – Reusing Lists and Scales
In your questionnaire, you have three car brands that will be row answers in several questions: Mazda, Toyota and Ford. You also have a three-point scale or ranking that will be used in a column header: Good, Satisfactory and Poor.

  1. First, go to the “advanced” tab, select Prolog

  2. First, go to the “advanced” tab, select Prolog
  3. Add group of lists. Give it a name
  4. An empty list item is given

  5. Add the number of list items you want (e.g. as in the example below: 3)
  6. Add a new list, and new list items
  7. For each list item you may now also enter the following (optional)
    • Row attributes
    • Column attributes
    • Graphics
    • Interviewer instruction
    • Supplementary text
    • Reference to question
    • Etc..

  8. In the question where the same list is required, there is no need to repeat the brand names nor the scale. You just need to refer to the car list and the scale list.
  9. Create a grid question
    • Add a “reference to a list” in the rows
    • Add a “reference to a list” in the columns group

  10. Select the reference to list. From the options menu, select the list you want to use
  11. Add extra (fixed) rows or columns

  12. Looking at the preview, the question will now look like shown below

  13. Later, adding a new brand or category to the list will give you the same flexibility as if they were created in a question