Best Practices

Citizenship, Ethnicity, and Race

Mechanisms of Support

Postdoctoral Researchers (postdocs) and Other Doctorate-Holding Nonfaculty Research staff

Quality Check

General


Uploading Data

The following are tips to assist you when uploading data to the GSS:

  • When possible pull student data from institutional databases using the supplied SQL Sample Select Statement as reference. This will ensure that all GSS eligible programs at the institution are reported to the GSS.
  • CIP Codes:
    • If editing the upload file in Excel, do not 'drag and drop' the CIP code in to copy the code to other cells. This will cause the CIP code in the subsequent cells to increment by one. Instead you should copy and paste the CIP code into the corresponding cells.
    • Make sure the CIP codes are formatted correctly (XX.XXXX) and that leading a trailing zeros are taken into account. This can be done by changing the format of the cells to text.
  • Unit Names should be representative of the unit (academic department, research center, institute, academic program etc.) that is being reported.   Report the unit name stored within your institutional database. Examples of Unit names are Department of Sociology, Center of Biomedical Engineering, Informatics, Applied Research Institute, and Center for Counseling Psychology. These unit names will be displayed in the GSS Unit Status menu.
    • Do not report school name or college name for every unit.
  • Unit ID is the identifier for the unit as listed in your institutional records. The unit ID should be unique to the unit being reported. Examples of Unit IDs are BIO, 12345, BIOL5.
    • If you reported a unit id in 2017, please use the same set of IDs for 2018 reporting.
  • Person ID is a unique identifier for individual record.
    • Do not include personally identifiable information (PII) including name, social security number, student ID, etc.


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Citizenship, Ethnicity, and Race

These data are typically the easiest to obtain and as such we recommend starting with these data.

  • At most institutions this data is maintained by the Office of the Graduate School or the Institutional Research Office.
  • Be careful not to double-count students, and make sure to include online students.
  • If an individual identifies as Hispanic/Latino, they should be reported as such regardless of race. For example, if Hispanic/Latino and white report as Hispanic/Latino.


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Mechanisms of Support

Data for this section are most often available from databases created by an institution's Financial Aid Office, Business Office, or from employment records.

  • When reporting support data, make sure that the total number of full-time students matches the number reported on the Citizenship, Ethnicity, and Race Full-time section even if not all students receive aid.
  • Be careful not to double-count students, and make sure to include self-supported students and online students.


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Postdoctoral Researchers (postdocs) and Other Doctorate-Holding Nonfaculty Research staff

This information can be a little more difficult to obtain for some institutions and may be housed in a variety of locations on campus. We recommend reaching out to the following offices, which may house this data on your campus.

  • Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
  • Individual Departments
  • Human Resources
  • Office of Research


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Quality Check

  • Use the Web system's "Calculate Totals" button to ensure proper summation.
  • The Web system will flag everything from a minor data entry mistake to large trend variances.
  • Make corrections immediately, while data are still fresh in your mind.
  • Be sure to give a valid explanation for any trend variances.


The GSS Help Desk, can be reached by email at gss@rti.org or by phone at 866-558-0781. They can assist you with all aspects of the survey to ensure a timely and accurate survey response.


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General

Take advantage of many ways to submit your data using the Web survey.

  • If you report from a centralized database, you can use the provided Excel templates to create a comma-separated values (.csv) file that can then be uploaded into the system.
  • If individual units report their data, use the Send or Resend IDs/Password screen to allow your unit respondents to login and report their own data online.
  • Use the previous year's data as a guide to your data this year.
  • Use the GSS Web Survey "Download Data" feature to download an excel version of last year's data.
  • If you delegate the survey to unit respondents, use the "Unit Status" screen. It will allow you to monitor the progress of the unit respondents.


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OMB 3145-0062
Expires 10/31/2020

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