Archives Administrators Survey FAQ


Why should I take the A*Census II Archives Administrators survey?

Do you oversee archives? Help SAA support archivists by completing the A*CENSUS II Archives Administrators survey! 

This survey will provide the profession with baseline data about institutional characteristics, resources, strategic directions, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and access issues. Your input will provide accurate data to help archivists advocate for federal, state, local, and institutional resources.


Am I the right person to take the Archives Administrators survey?

The individual who is the most senior leader and decision maker for their archives, regardless of the size of the archives, should take the Archives Administrators Survey. An archives administrator may oversee a large archives organization, an archives unit situated within a broader institution, or a small community archives collection. An archives administrator may manage employees, volunteers or, in some cases, may be the sole steward of an archival collection. 


  • I am the senior leader of the archives unit/department at my organization, but the broader organization is not archives-related; should I take the survey?


  • I lead work with archives material, but I am a volunteer and the people I work with are also volunteers; should I take the survey? 

If you are the primary decision maker for the archives, yes, you should take the survey regardless of whether you are a volunteer or in a paid position. 

  • I recently retired from the senior administrator position at my archives, and my role has not been filled yet; should I take the survey?

If the senior administrator role you vacated has not been filled, yes, please take the survey. However, if the role has been filled, do not take the survey and please encourage the new senior administrator to take the survey.


When is the Archives Administrators Survey launching? 

February 2022.

How can I take the survey?

Some senior administrators will receive an invitation to take the survey directly in their email inbox. Here is how we identified senior administrators:

  • Respondents who self-identified as a senior administrator in the All Archivists Survey 

  • Respondents who were  not the most senior decision maker or administrator at their organization were given the opportunity to recommend someone who is in that role through the All Archivists Survey. 

Survey links sent directly to an email address are unique and should not be forwarded to any other person.

Our goal is to include administrators from as many organizations/institutions/community archives as possible. Senior administrators who did not receive an invitation directly can take the survey via an open-access survey link:

We encourage anyone interested to share the open-access survey link with senior administrators in their network.


Can I stop and later continue the survey from the same point?

Yes, though the functionality depends on how the survey was initiated. 

  • For respondents who use the survey link sent to their email address: If you use the survey link sent to your email address, your response will save on a page-by-page basis, and you will be able to leave the survey and resume at a later time provided you use the same link to access the survey.

  • For respondents who use the open-access link: If you use the open-access link, your responses will be saved automatically, as long as you use the same internet browser, so you may exit and re-enter the survey as many times as you wish. You will not be able to start the survey on one device and continue on another.


Can I back up and change my responses?

Yes. There is a back button included in the survey that will allow you to navigate back to earlier questions and change your answers. Please note: the survey may branch based on your responses. This means if you change your answer to an earlier question, you may encounter different questions moving forward in the survey.


Can I skip survey questions if I don’t want to answer them?

Yes, you can skip almost any question on the survey that you don’t want to answer. The only exceptions are filter questions at the beginning of the survey that confirm you are part of the population who should take the survey. Filter questions help keep the survey secure by preventing bots from taking the survey and making sure not to waste the time of respondents who should not be part of the survey sample. Data that you do provide will be used to make recommendations for improvements, but each respondent can choose how much information they are willing to share.


Can I skip answering the demographic questions?

Yes. You can skip any question on the survey that you do not feel comfortable answering. Additionally, for each demographic question, you will have the explicit option to select that you prefer not to answer.  


How long is the survey?

The estimated time for completion is 30 minutes. The length of time to complete the survey will vary depending on how you answer certain questions. For example, there are certain skip patterns built into the survey that will activate depending on individual responses to specific questions. The skip patterns may increase or decrease the time it takes to respond to the survey for some participants.


Is the survey compatible with mobile devices?

Yes, the look and feel is responsive to device type. The survey platform is able to detect your device and automatically adjust the questionnaire into an appropriate format.


How can I help?

  • Share information about the Archives Administrators Survey with senior archives administrators in your network by contacting people directly or sharing the open-access link on social media. Do not forward the unique link sent to your email address. When posting on social media, use the hashtags:  


  • If you are an archives administrator, take the survey yourself!


How do I ask my senior administrator to complete the survey? (feel free to use or modify for your situation)

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) is surveying all archivists in the United States to better understand our demographics, education, and development needs. This survey, specifically for Archives Administrators, will provide the profession with baseline data about institutional characteristics, resources, strategic directions, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and access issues. Your responses will help our institution advocate for resources, benchmark against peers, and assist with strategic planning.

I am writing to invite you to submit a response to the Archives Administrators Survey on behalf of our organization. You do not need to be an SAA member to respond. The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and you can save your work and return to it later. 

If you have additional questions there are FAQs available to review.

This survey was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and was collaboratively developed by SAA, Ithaka S+R, and the A*CENSUS II working group.

Thank you for your time and consideration.