How It Works

You Make Your Survey

The MISO Survey is unlike many other surveys you will encounter because every question and every item in the survey (except demographics) is optional for you to include or exclude from your version of the survey. The survey templates cover a wide range of library and technology topics from which you can choose. Selecting from this broad suite permits you to create a survey that fits your institution's needs without the restrictions of required survey items. 

In addition, the MISO Survey permits your institution to add as many local items as you wish. You can add a local item to an existing question or create entirely original questions for the survey.

These options taken together give you the advantage of administering a survey that feels home-grown while preserving the validation and inter-institutional comparability that a national survey brings.

Good Methods Means Good Data 

Good methods means good data is the motto of the MISO Survey. The MISO Survey provides the methodological expertise so you can focus on crafting a survey that fits your needs. MISO makes sure the data represents what it purports to represent. MISO maximizes the quality of the data by two primary means: 1) ensuring that every item in the survey is understood by respondents as intended and 2) making sure those who respond to the survey are representative of the populations from which they are drawn.

The MISO Survey ensures that survey items are properly understood by respondents by rigorously testing every item in the survey.  Since the inception of the MISO Survey in 2005, MISO has employed cognitive interviewing of its survey items. Cognitive interviewing is a crucial step towards insuring the validity of survey items, but it is also a step frequently skipped by survey designers because it is resource intensive. MISO has never skipped this step. Before a new item is introduced to the MISO Survey that item is tested with faculty, students, and staff at multiple higher education institutions. In addition, long standing items in the MISO Survey are put through the cognitive interviewing process every five to six years to ensure the meaning of the items is still understood properly.

Even the best designed survey instrument will fall short if the people responding to the survey do not represent the populations from which they are drawn. Over the years the MISO Survey has put great effort into maximizing the representativeness of the respondents. MISO has developed a messaging protocol designed to achieve response rates uncommonly high in higher education. This helps reduce the potential impact of non-response bias.


The MISO Survey values accessibility of information and welcomes the full participation of all individuals in all aspects of campus life. MISO uses the Qualtrics survey platform as its primary tool. We refer you to Qualtrics' support for information about the accessibility of survey instruments built in Qualtrics.  Should members of your institution wish to request a disability-related accommodation for MISO Survey respondents on your campus, please contact us. Requests should be made as early as possible.