Working on a dissertation for school or some academic research, and do you need to find as many respondents as possible for your survey? Every statistics professor out there will tell you that the results of your dissertation/master’s thesis or paper will be more accurate if your sample size is big enough, so it’s important to spread your survey on every platform out there.
Reddit – the so-called front page of the internet, seems an ideal candidate to spread your survey and get more participants! But where can you actually post your surveys on Reddit without it being against the rules? Let’s take a look.
Reddit is an anonymous social media platform where people share links and posts with each other. The community on Reddit is absolutely huge, as the site has millions of users and hundreds of millions of pageviews every month.
You can also visit certain “subreddits” on the website, these are specific communities of people (or Redditors) who all want to discuss the same topic. For example, if you’re a Stranger Things fan, you can discuss all the details of the fantastic tv show on the /r/strangerthings subreddit.
Of course, we’re not here to watch Netflix, we’re here to spread some surveys. Luckily, there are also a few specific subreddits that will welcome your survey with open arms and help you get your research going.
The best place on Reddit to spread surveys: r/samplesize
It turns out that there’s a subreddit out there that was made for this! On the r/samplesize subreddit, you can share your survey (whether it’s Qualtrics, a Google form, or anything else) on there and Redditors will fill them in.
It is courtesy, however, that you try and repay the favor by filling in other surveys on r/samplesize as well. There are also a few rules you’ll have to take into account. For starters, you can only post your survey once every 24 hours, and you need to tag and flair your post in the appropriate manner.
Also very important is that you mention the demographic you’re looking for. Only targeting a specific gender or age group? Let them know in the title, and give a short description of your survey topic as well.
/r/surveysize is definitely the most serious and best option on Reddit to spread your survey, but make sure that your survey meets certain standards. For example, make sure you have consent and ethical implications figured out.
With almost 200,000 subscribers to this subreddit, your best chance to gain participants will be here.
Another good option if you’re looking for extra participants, is the /r/takemysurvey subreddit. The name of the subreddit is pretty self-explanatory.
The rules are pretty much the same as the subreddit above, so make sure your demographics and topic are mentioned in the title. They also ask that you detail your target audience well, so people know if they can help you or not.
On this subreddit, while reciprocity is definitely appreciated, it isn’t allowed to partake in so-called “survey trains” in the comments.
Another important difference with r/samplesize, is that you’re only allowed to repost your survey after one month instead of 24 hours. Given that this subreddit is a lot smaller at just 10,000 subscribers, it is quite understandable, however.
Favors is actually quite a bit bigger than r/takemysurvey with over 44,000 subscribers, but the name of the subreddit suggests that people here ask favors about a whole lot of different things.
The reality, however, is that this subreddit is basically flooded with requests about academic surveys and questionnaires. Around 80 to 90% of the posts made are from people trying to get other people to fill in their surveys.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, of course, and while we have had more success on the other two subreddit in terms of sheer participants, it definitely doesn’t hurt to share your survey link here as well.
There aren’t any strict rules on /r/favors when it comes to your survey itself or reposting rules, and this is definitely the most informal subreddit of the three.
How many participants do you need for decent sample size?
Of course, this isn’t a statistics website, but we can point you in the right direction.
If you want to have a confidence level of 95%, a margin of error of a maximum of 5%, and take into account a very large population (the entire demographic you’re researching – let’s say 18 – 25 year-olds in the US), you’ll need a sample size of 385.
385 is usually the magic number, but you can always play around with population sizes, confidence levels, and margins of error at the Qualtrics sample size calculator.
If your population is the hundreds of thousands up to millions, you’ll need to bump up your sample size to
Hopefully, you can get somewhere near this number when you enlist the help of your fellow Redditors on the subreddits we’ve listed above!
Don’t forget to take sampling bias into account!
The way you collect your participants for a survey can also have an influence on your results. Be sure to take sampling or ascertainment bias into account.
For example – if you only or mostly get your respondents from Reddit, is that sample size really representative of your entire population? Statistical food for thought.
Where on Reddit can you post your survey for (academic) research? You’ll have the best chances on the r/samplesize, /r/takemysurvey, and r/favors subreddits. Just make sure you follow all the rules and make your demographics clear in the title!