LimeSurveyTerms of use

Online surveys can be created, conducted and evaluated easily with the online survey system LimeSurvey. The software solution is offered at Heidelberg University as a locally hosted platform.

English translation from 17.05.2023 of the German original (version of the original: 2.2 from 27.02.2023).

Important: This translation is not legally binding. Please always consult the German original!


1. Areas of application of the Terms of use

These terms and conditions regulate the use of the service Online survey system LimeSurvey of the University Computing Centre (URZ) of Heidelberg University (Uni HD). By signing the registration form and at the latest with the first use of LimeSurvey as a service of the URZ, these terms of use are accepted by the user as the basis of the cooperation between the URZ and the user.

The terms of use are based on the Administration and Usage Regulations for ICT Systems and Services, the Administration and Usage Regulations (VBO) of the URZ and the associated supplements.

2. Content of the service offering

The service includes the setup, use and administrative access to the online survey system LimeSurvey at https://limesurvey.urz.uni-heidelberg.de/admin/
This allows users to create and evaluate both online and offline surveys.

The use of the service is limited in all cases to the purposes of study, teaching and research as well as administration and excludes any commercial or private use. The implementation of teaching evaluations for regular courses offered by Heidelberg University via LimeSurvey is not permitted. For more details, see §3 of the Evaluation Regulations.

Participation in surveys created with LimeSurvey is possible without restrictions via a web browser. Surveys that have been set up can be made publicly accessible or restricted to a special group of participants.

3. Operation of the service

The technical infrastructure for the online survey system LimeSurvey is provided by the URZ on its own local servers. This ensures data and system security. The URZ tests updates and upgrades of the open source application used and rolls them out - during normal office hours - through system maintenance on the infrastructure.

Service users will usually be informed of upcoming maintenance work in advance. The URZ reserves the right to carry out maintenance work immediately without informing the service users in the case of urgent security updates. The URZ will keep any interruptions to the service offering resulting from the maintenance work to a minimum.

The URZ backs up the data daily and for a period of 5 days.

The service users (survey administrators) are responsible for the content and implementation of the online surveys themselves. This includes data protection, information security and other legal obligations (such as copyright and trademark law).

4. Access to and use of the service

Access to the online survey system LimeSurvey requires an application and is only possible for members and affiliates of Heidelberg University with a valid user ID (Uni ID or Project ID).
As part of the application, agreement to these terms of use and the underlying regulations of the URZ and the University is required. After acceptance of the application, the URZ will confirm the authorisation for use by e-mail.

Users of the service offer are automatically entered in an e-mail distribution list (listserv list LimeSurvey) so they can be informed about innovations, maintenance windows and system interruptions.

Service users can access the backend via https://limesurvey.urz.uni-heidelberg.de/admin/, where they can create, start, end and promptly evaluate their own surveys. The response data can be exported for evaluation with other tools.

It is recommended to export completed surveys completely with all questions and data. A re-import as a template for a new survey is possible.

Surveys can be conducted publicly, accompanied by an announcement on the website https://limesurvey.urz.uni-heidelberg.de/ , as partially public (with free accessibility if the direct link to the survey is known) and restricted (requiring a password).

5. Suspension, exclusion and termination of the service offering

Failure to comply with the terms of use of the online survey system LimeSurvey or the underlying regulations of the URZ can lead to a ban or exclusion from the service. If the identification given in the application is blocked or deleted, the use of the survey system will also be blocked or cancelled.

Users of the online survey system LimeSurvey can request to terminate the use of the service at any time. The URZ will store existing data for 30 days after receipt of the termination notice and then delete it permanently.

The URZ may discontinue the service offering if the legal basis for the service offering changes in the long term, if the offering ceases to be economically viable or if technical innovations no longer allow continued operation in the current form.

6. Removing content and users

All result data of online surveys (thus the answers by the participants) must be deleted together with the survey (structure) by the survey administrators three months after the end of the survey.

The access data and permissions of the survey administrators will be deactivated one month after the expiry of registration and deleted after a further two months if no application for renewal has been submitted. Upon leaving the university, the access will be deactivated directly. The surveys still available at the time of deactivation will be deleted by the system after a waiting period of two months.

As soon as service users become aware of inadmissible content in an online survey, they are obliged to ensure that the content is removed and blocked.

The URZ is entitled to delete or remove from public view any inadmissible content in an online survey or in the event of violations of the terms of use, data protection or personnel law requirements. Furthermore, the URZ is entitled to remove service users as soon as they have repeatedly violated the terms of use or published inadmissible content or third parties authorised to issue instructions demand this.

7. Support

The URZ provides technical support for the system and is available to answer questions about using the service. Service users and interested parties should contact the IT service of the URZ via the following e-mail address: it-service@uni-heidelberg.de

Content-related questions on the design, evaluation and implementation of online surveys cannot be taken over by the technical support. Survey participants are referred to the survey administrators, who are the LimeSurvey users.

Upon request, service users can transfer the use of an online survey to another service user, e.g. in the event that the original user leaves the service. Please contact the IT Service of the URZ via the following e-mail address: it-service@uni-heidelberg.de


8. Data protection

The URZ collects and processes data from service users in order to provide the service offer. Data necessary for the administration of access to the service offer (name, email address, university ID) are stored.

Data from the end-users participating in the survey is only stored insofar as it is entered by the service users to conduct closed surveys (usually name and email address).

If the service user processes personal data in the context of an online survey, the current data protection laws must be complied with. This includes the duty to inform the data subjects by displaying a privacy statement at the beginning of the survey and creating a separate entry in the register of processing activities for accountability to the supervisory authority. A suitable template for this can be downloaded from the Central Advisory Service of Baden-Württemberg Universities (ZENDAS) or will be sent to the service users by e-mail with the registration.

9. Inclusion provisions

If surveys are conducted on or exclusively with Heidelberg University staff, the Staff Council shall be consulted before the survey is conducted.


Log of changes to these terms of use

V 2.2 f. 27.02.2023: Item 4: minor editorial changes; Item 6: concretisation in the first two sections, Item 8: revision of the 3rd section.
V 2.1 f. 15.01.2021: Amendment under point 9: The staff council shall not only be “informed” but "consulted".
V 2.0 f. 31.01.2020: Implementation on the web
V 1.0 f. 12.03.2019: Draft version as Word/PDF document