Chapter 10 LimeSurvey User Management

This Chapter deals with user management in LimeSurvey 3. Note that I recommend configuring your LimeSurvey to use English, because many more people provide and ask for help in English. This means that googling any problems you may have is much more likely to yield results if you use the English menu names et cetera.

10.1 Creating a user account

In LimeSurvey’s top menu bar, open the Configuration menu and in it, select Manage Survey Administrators. Click the “Add user” button in the top-right corner. Specify the username, email address, and full name. Important: if you work at the Open University of the Netherlands, note that our policy is that staff members are only allowed to create accounts for their students, and that the usernames must always be the student’s student number.

You can now configure the global permissions of the newly created account. However, unless you’re an administrator, you will only create accounts to then grant the user access to a survey. In those cases, you do not need to grant any global permissions; you can specify the permissions on a survey-by-survey basis. If you work at the Open University of the Netherlands, and just created a student account, it is especially important that you do not grant any global permissions, but instead grant access to a specific survey (or several).

10.2 Granting a user access to your survey

Open the survey and in the menu bar on the left side, select the Settings tab (as opposed to the Structure tab). Scroll down to the Survey Menu section and open the Survey Permissions page. In the drop-down menu after “User”, select the user you want to grant access, and then click the “Add User” button to confirm. LimeSurvey will confirm that the user was successfully granted permission to your survey. You can now click the “Set Survey Permissions” button to set the permissions this user gets for your survey.

Here, you can select which permissions you want to grant the users. You will see a list of categories of permissions with checkboxes. You can check or uncheck these checkboxes to efficiently grant or deny permission for all actions within these categories. Alternatively, to get more fine-grained control, you can click the button above the column with checkboxes to open this detailed permission grid, where you can grant or deny permissions to Create, View/Read, Update, Delete, Import, and Export each category separately.

If you work at the Open University of the Netherlands, and just granted permission to an account for a student, the rights you are allowed to grant depend on the nature of your survey. If you will only collect anonymous data, you can grant the student the permission to View/Read the Responses (the fourth row, labelled “Permission to create(data entry)/view/update/delete/import/export responses”). If you will collect personal data (see Crutzen, Peters, and Mondschein 2019), you’re normally not allowed to grant this permission to students. In that case, you have to download and anonymize the dataset yourself before you’re allowed to send it to the student. Note that it’s sensible to simply publish the anonymized dataset at a repository such as the Open Science Framework, and then let the student download the data from there.


Crutzen, Rik, Gjalt-Jorn Ygram Peters, and Christopher Mondschein. 2019. “Why and How We Should Care about the General Data Protection Regulation.” Psychology & Health 34 (11): 1347–57.