Google Forms

Basic information

How to use this tool for use/reuse assessment

Google Forms is a free tool that can be used to create surveys, quizzes, web forms, and polls. For the purposes of assessing the use/reuse of digital objects, Google Forms would be most useful to distribute surveys to users to better understand who they are, and how and why they use/reuse digital objects. 

Ethical guidelines

Practitioners should follow the practices laid out in the “Ethical considerations and guidelines for the assessment of use and reuse of digital content.” The Guidelines are meant both to inform practitioners in their decision-making, and to model for users what they can expect from those who steward digital collections.

Additional guidelines for responsible practice

The data collected is only as secure as the Google account credentials of the staff member creating the forms, or any other person with access to the forms. While Google provides two-step verification, the feature may not be turned on. If there is concern about the security of individuals’ private Google accounts being used for work-related surveys, a new Google account with a strong password and two-factor verification can be created for the express purpose of collecting data from Google Forms.


  • Of the survey tools described in this toolkit, Google Forms is the only one to offer full functionality in its free version.

  • Compared to more robust paid survey platforms, Google Forms is simple and easy to learn to use. However, it is not difficult to build a simple survey using the other tools either.

  • Google Forms has full integration with other Google products (for example, Forms are stored in Google Drive and results are automatically written to Google Sheets, and can be easily pulled into other Google tools).

  • While all the tools allow account holders to share editing permissions among multiple accounts, Google Forms allows suggesting/comments as well, similar to Google Docs.


  • Google has the right to delete your Google account and all associated data at any time. It is also not entirely clear what rights Google has to mine the data contained in Google Forms.

  • Google Forms does not offer as many functional features robust as the subscription-based survey platforms like Qualtrics and Survey Monkey. This may be a drawback if you need more advanced features that are not offered by Google Forms (such as advanced branching, conditional logic).

  • Google Forms does not include built-in reports and visualizations as robust as the subscription-based platforms offer. It only provides basic totals of your responses, but does automatically feed the responses to a Google Sheet that can be downloaded as a CSV file for manual analysis in Excel or other analytics programs. Google does provide other tools (such as Charts, Sheets, and Data Studio) that can easily connect to Google Forms data and allow basic visualizations and reports to be built manually.

  • Google Forms has limited ability to customize the appearance of the survey when compared to Survey Monkey and Qualtrics.

Used for these methods

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