How to get your questions answered

Why your question was left not answered?

(this section is adapted from Statalist)


  • You did not provide enough information or your explanation was unclear. For example, postings of the form “I tried implementing the questionnaire, but it did not work” are usually impossible to answer, except by asking for more information.

  • If you are getting a compilation error, make sure you quote the error and the relevant expression precisely. It is next to impossible to guess the types of the variables from their names. If you are showing an expression in your question, make sure you explain how each variable mentioned in the expression is declared.

  • Your question really should be answered by using the support site, examples/demos in the public questionnaires, or by searching in this forum. Don’t expect that the solution will be word-by-word exact to your question. You may be in need to randomly select a respondent in the household, but the example could be of random selection of a room in a dwelling. If the example is not suitable for you to work out the solution, describe precisely, why that example is not suitable.

  • You seem to be asking for code on an entire project. It is most unlikely that anyone can work that out for you and write it down in a few minutes. Much more specific questions are much more likely to be answered.

  • Your question refers to other software, technology or device, on which assistance is much more likely to be obtained in a different forum/resource.

  • No one knows of any such survey, method, or software you’ve mentioned, or the mentioning is not specific leaving too many options.

  • We do not have the knowledge of your project needed to work out the best thing to do in your circumstances, and, in any case, it is really your call.

  • Whether what you are doing is ‘correct’ is very difficult to discuss helpfully.


Advice on how to get your questions answered

  • introduce your survey, motivate the reader.
  • describe the situation providing most accurate details; add screenshots/illustrations where needed.
  • check with your colleague (not involved in the situation) whether he/she can understand the situation from your description; if he/she can’t understand it, most likely the other readers will not understand it too.
  • include full name and version of any software you mention, including Survey Solutions.
  • make sure you use the terminology correctly: in Survey Solutions an ‘interview’ is different from ‘assignment’ and from ‘questionnaire’, please read the gloassary before you post.
  • make connections to relevant documentation pages and examples.
  • log in to the forum and answer somebody else’s question. The forum is not the place where the users give homework to the developers, instead this forum is a place where users help other users.