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Frequently asked questions

Below you will find answers to commonly asked questions. If your question does not appear in the list, please contact us for assistance. Our current business hours are 8AM - 5PM (ET), Monday through Friday.

Click the topics below to see the corresponding Q&A.

General questions

What is CHRR?

CHRR at The Ohio State University is a multidisciplinary research center affiliated with the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University. We develop survey software, design survey instruments, oversee field work, and generate and disseminate fully documented data sets. We work with researchers in government, private research organizations, and universities around the world.

What is the American Population Panel?

The APP is a group of volunteer members who agree to participate in social science and health related studies. The studies are conducted by CHRR for research purposes. We collect basic demographic information from panel members in order to match them with studies' needs. For more details about the panel, please visit our Members page or view our video about the APP.

Who can join the panel?

Any individual 18 years or older living in U.S. can be an APP member.

How much time will it take to be on the panel?

The time-commitment varies with each survey. Some surveys are brief with a small set of questions, while others are longer with extensive questionnaires. The average time to take each survey will be listed in the survey invitation, so you will know the time commitment before you start. You may also return to a survey via your invitation link to finish the survey before the closing deadline, which will also be listed in the survey invitation.

How often will you contact me?

This will depend on the number of surveys we field and whether your demographic information matches the requirements for one or more of our surveys. For example, if a researcher is studying young men's social media usage, then only males 18-25 will be contacted for the survey.

Why don't I get invited to participate in more APP surveys?

As a large national panel, the APP offers researchers different subgroups for their studies. For instance, if a researcher needs data from Texas, we can send survey invitations to our Texan panel members. Or maybe researchers are looking for parents who are in their 40s, or high school graduates who are males. Sometimes researchers may want a wide range of respondents but perhaps only need a total of 500-1000 participants. In those cases, we randomly select a small subgroup of our panel members and send out recruitment invitations to those potential respondents. The good news? We're getting more and more inquiries from researchers interested in using the APP for their projects. That likely means more opportunities for you to participate in future studies!

Why do I receive non-APP survey announcements?

From time to time, we learn about research participation opportunities offered by other institutions. We evaluate these opportunities and, if they meet our standards, we may pass along the invitations to our panelists. In these instances, the research is not affiliated with the APP and panel members are not obligated to take part. We recognize that our members are interested in a variety of research topics and would like to share these additional opportunities with you.

Am I still a panel member?

You may not have heard from us in a while if your demographic information hasn't been matched to one of our surveys, or you may have received an email notice from us and it went to your spam folder. If your primary contact is email, please add our email address to your contact list. This will ensure that you receive APP emails in a timely fashion, including payment instructions for completed surveys.

Can I stop being on the panel at anytime?

Yes. Please contact us for opt out assistance. You may also opt out of the panel by logging into your member account.

Survey information

Why are surveys important?

Good information for research purposes depends on communicating with target demographics instead of guessing about their lives and experiences.

Where do the surveys come from?

Surveys are developed by researchers in a variety of disciplines. Longer, paid surveys are usually led by a principal investigator who has grant funding to pay for panel member incentives. We also help produce surveys for non-profit organizations who are developing community initiatives and need data for their outreach programs. In other instances, such as the Mini Surveys, junior researchers and graduate students design shorter surveys with a prize drawing as part of their research training.

What are Mini Surveys?

Mini Surveys are brief surveys with a smaller set of questions. Examples may include test questions for pilot studies or questions produced by graduate students for thesis projects.

How do I get surveys?

Each research project has its own requirements. If your profile information is a match to a project, you will receive a survey invitation either by email or text message to participate. The contact mode depends upon the primary contact you submitted when you registered for the panel.

What will the surveys be about?

We have a variety of survey subjects. Past topics have included: Sports, Smoking and Vaping, Parenthood, Fertility, Climate Change and more.

Do I have to participate in all surveys?

No, you do not have to participate in all surveys. You can simply ignore the survey invitations you don't want to participate in. If you don't want to participate in prize drawing surveys, please contact us and we can change your account to receive paid surveys only.

What if I don't want to answer a survey question?

In most cases, survey questions will have the options of "Refuse/Prefer Not to Answer" or “Don't know” for you to choose from.

How much information will be gathered and kept?

We will keep all information provided from the initial panel survey in which you were asked to join and subsequent information you may provide as a participant in future surveys.

How long will you keep it?

It will be safely stored for 10 years. CHRR at The Ohio State University has a comprehensive security program for data protection that meets the latest federal guidelines.

Who can see my information?

Panel member information is viewed by CHRR staff only. This information is never shared or sold.

My survey link doesn't work.

Please contact us with the broken link and we will resolve the issue so you can continue to contribute to the panel.

My survey link has expired.

Each survey runs for a set amount of time. If the link in the survey invite has expired, it is because the survey has closed and the project has ended. However, we will send new invitations when you are matched to future surveys.

I can't get back into the survey or the survey session has timed out.

If you leave the survey unattended for more than 15 minutes, the session will time out. If you find the session has timed out, simply click on the link we sent you to start the survey. This will allow you back into the survey to pick up right where you left off. If you continue to have an issue completing a survey that you have started, please contact us so we can investigate the issue.

Sometimes you post surveys online for the general public to participate. What gives you confidence in the accuracy of the responses in an anonymous internet survey?

Survey answers we gather via online (through social media posts) are combined with answers to the same questions that we ask of other groups of people — people who have joined the APP using a wide variety of recruitment methods, not just the Internet. This means that we do not rely solely on an anonymous internet survey for results. There is always the possibility that people will not take our survey questions seriously and answer them without much thought. However, we do look at answers that people provide for patterns that don't make sense. We also look at the length of time that it takes people to answer our surveys and very short timings trigger further review of answers.

Survey incentives: E-gift cards and prize drawings

How much will I be compensated?

Each survey you are invited to participate in will outline that particular survey's incentive. Surveys averaging less than 15 minutes are generally prize drawings with a chance to win one of several e-gift cards. Surveys averaging 15 minutes or longer will list an incentive amount in the survey invitation. Currently, we pay approximately $10 for 15 minutes of survey time, but this depends on each researcher's project budget. We encourage each researcher to pay a fair amount for our panel members' time.

How do I get compensated?

We currently use Tango Card services to provide your incentive in the form of an e-gift card, prepaid Visa, or charitable donation. You will not receive a physical gift card (in most cases).

When will I receive my e-gift card?

Every effort will be made to send your e-gift card within fifteen business days of survey close, unless security concerns require a longer review time.

Why does it take so long to receive my incentive when I complete a survey?

The APP is made up of a small group of staff who handle many of the day-to-day tasks of the panel, such as programming the surveys, creating invitations to participate, and yes, making sure each survey respondent is compensated for their time. As part of CHRR at The Ohio State University, we have a strict data security and audit process that we follow. This can take extra time, particularly when we have a large group of survey participants.

Where did you send my e-gift card?

At the end of each survey, we ask you for your preferred contact method for payment, which may be an email or a text message. The payment notification will be sent to your contact of choice. If you cannot locate your payment notification, please contact us about the issue, so we can make sure you get your payment.

How do I claim my e-gift card?

We will either send you an email or a text message with a redemption code for your e-gift card. We currently use Tango Card to give panel members more variety of e-gift cards, including several retailers, prepaid Visa, and charitable donations.

Tango Card redemption instructions (also available as a Tango Card video tutorial):

  1. Click the redemption link in the APP payment email or text message you received.
  2. Choose an e-gift card or another reward from the Tango Card list of options.
  3. Select/Enter the value you would like to add to the e-gift card of your choice.
  4. Select Add to Cart. If you have a remaining balance and would like to choose another option, repeat Steps 2-4.
  5. Once you have selected all the e-gift cards you would like, click the shopping card in the top right hand corner of your screen.
  6. Enter your name, email address, and check the box acknowledging the terms.
  7. Click Complete My Order and your e-gift card(s) will arrive in your email inbox.

If you have any issues redeeming your Tango Card for a retail e-gift card, or receiving the e-gift card, please contact Tango Customer Service: 1-877-55-TANGO (82646) between 7:30AM - 5PM (PST), Monday through Friday or by email at

My gift card has been redeemed by another account, what should I do?

We are sorry you are experiencing this issue. Please contact us, so we can get the issue corrected for you.

I cannot find my e-gift card in my email.

Please check your email's spam or junk folder to see if the payment notification went there by mistake. If you do not locate the email, please contact us to re-send the payment notification. Also, please add our email address ( to your contact list. This will ensure that you receive our APP emails in a timely fashion, including payment instructions for completed surveys.

Why am I only receiving surveys with prize drawings instead of guaranteed incentives?

Unlike marketing surveys that have money, we produce research surveys. We do work with researchers who have grants for the longer paid surveys, but not all panel members are invited to take these surveys due to demographic criteria. The shorter prize drawing surveys are sent out to provide an opportunity for graduate students and junior researchers to try out questions on an audience as part of their training. Unfortunately, we don't get any funding for these shorter surveys — we wish we could, BUT we keep trying! Our ideal would be to pay everyone for every survey, at least something and no matter how long the survey!

How do the prize drawings work?

For your participation, you will be entered into a random prize drawing for an e-gift card from a wide range of merchants, using Tango Card. By law, payments to participants are considered taxable income. If you are selected as a winner, you will be notified (by email or text) within 15 business days after the close of the survey with information on how to access your e-gift card. Given the survey is open to all individuals 18 and up living in the U.S., your odds of winning depend on how many participate in the survey. However, we guarantee that all who participate will have an equal chance of winning.

How do I know who wins the random prize drawings?

We do not release more than the winners' initials and state due to study confidentiality and privacy laws but you can see the latest list of winners on our Facebook post.

Member accounts

Do I need to activate/create a panel account?

No. Your panel account is automatically created when you register for the panel. It allows you to update your contact information, communication preferences, and/or opt out of the panel. It will also allow you to update your profile information, such as your zip code or education level. The profile information is the criteria we use to match members to paid surveys.

How do I login into my account?

You will enter your email address or phone number (that you used when your registered for the APP) into the “Member Account Login” form located on the APP Home page or on the Members page. A login code will be emailed or sent via text message with instructions to enter the code for verification purposes. Once verified, you will be logged into your account.

I cannot access my account.

If you are experiencing access issues, please contact us with a description of the problem, including if you are using a desktop/laptop computer or a mobile device, which operating system (Win10, MacOS, Android, iOS, etc.), and which browser you are using (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.), so we can investigate the issue.