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Flooded with Incomplete Responses

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3 years 10 months ago #94978 by tdgrubbs
Hello,

I am managing a survey for a university through LimeSurvey, and lately (just in the past few weeks) the number of incomplete responses has been climbing. Just from today I had to remove 398 incomplete responses. None of these had any data partially entered--the "Date started" and "Date last action" were the same for all of them (e.g. Date started: 2013-01-18 10:49:41 Date ended: 2013-01-18 10:49:41).

LimeSurvey has been, and continues to be, a wonderful tool for us; but I'm hoping someone might know the root of this issue so I don't have to worry about filtering so many incomplete responses in the future :)

Thank you!

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3 years 10 months ago #94983 by holch
I assume that this is some kind of robot. Is the link freely accessible? Has the link been published somewhere?

We would need a little bit more information.

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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3 years 10 months ago #94985 by holch
Are you loggin the IP? Probably not. This would be a good indicator where those incomplete responses come from.

How are respondents recruited? How do they get to the survey? I assume it is students that are interviewed?

Did you have a look at the log files of the server to see if there has been strange activity lately?

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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3 years 10 months ago #94988 by tdgrubbs
Thanks for the response, holch.

The survey is not listed publicly and is only accessible via the link we email to students who have fulfilled a requirement.

I will need to notify our IT department regarding server logs, as I only manage the survey.

Based on the times of the incomplete responses, it appears they are occurring in approximately 15-minute intervals.

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3 years 10 months ago #94991 by holch
But in theory everyone could access the survey if I have the link?

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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3 years 10 months ago #94993 by tdgrubbs
That is correct.

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3 years 10 months ago #95039 by tdgrubbs
Solved:

The incomplete surveys were a result of Google scanning the link every 15 minutes.

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3 years 10 months ago #95047 by holch
Hehehehe, I thought that there was some kind of bot involved in this. I just thought about some kind of spam bot or something.

Good that this was resolved. Would be interesting to know how Google got the link if it is only sent to students. Does it appear in the public survey links?

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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3 years 10 months ago #95048 by helper
There are many spiders out there that continually look for new links. If any part of the domain has a Google Analytics script, then there is a good chance that the spiders will attempt to navigate the entire site.

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3 years 10 months ago #95049 by kobaltz
The quick way to prevent robots visiting your site is put these two lines into the /robots.txt file on your server:
User-agent: *
Disallow: /

but this only helps with well-behaved robots.

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