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Spreadsheet scripting and confidentiality

A survey about spreadsheet confidentiality.

Dear participant,

This questionnaire is part of research into confidentiality aspects of spreadsheets development and access to external resources using scripting.

The intent is to gain insight into the actual methods and data sources used to retrieve or import data into spreadsheets and identify potential risks to confidentiality. Based on the identified risks, possible mitigations are researched.

Participating in this questionnaire is voluntary and takes between 5 to 10 minutes to complete. If you decide to participate by answering the questions in this questionnaire, you agree that the given answers can be used in our research. When you, for whatever reason, decide not to finish the questionnaire, your answers will not be saved or used in our research.

Participation in this questionnaire is anonymous, no personal data is asked or stored, and cannot be related back to you. The answers will not be given to third parties and only the researcher and supervisors have access to the data. The answers will be stored on the servers of the OU for a period of 10 years. This research is conducted in appliance with the GDPR. For more information see also the Open University privacy disclaimer.

The questions asked in this questionnaire involve subjects such as:

  • your role in spreadsheet development (professional or end-user);
  • if you write scripts to import data into your spreadsheets;
  • if you use scripts provided by the IT department of your organization to import data ;
  • what methods you use to import data into your spreadsheets;
  • what kind of data sources do you access;
  • if you develop scripts, do you have any measures to ensure confidentiality;
  • if you know of any security or privacy-related policies regarding the use of company data in spreadsheets;

Thank you very much for your cooperation. If you would like more information, have any suggestions or complaints, you can reach us through the contact data mentioned below.



Menno van Grinsven (researcher)
Email: spreadsheets_study@ou.nl
dhr. dr. ir. Alaaeddin Swidan (first supervisor)
Email: alaaeddin.swidan@ou.nl
mw. dr. ir. Clara Maathuis (second supervisor)
Email: clara.maathuis@ou.nl
This survey is anonymous.

The record of your survey responses does not contain any identifying information about you, unless a specific survey question explicitly asked for it.

If you used an identifying token to access this survey, please rest assured that this token will not be stored together with your responses. It is managed in a separate database and will only be updated to indicate whether you did (or did not) complete this survey. There is no way of matching identification tokens with survey responses.


Please read the text below and tick the checkbox to indicate you agree to participate in this survey.

  • I give permission for the data that is collected during this study to be used for this scientific research.
  • I have read/received the information brief related to this study and I have had the opportunity to ask questions to the researcher if certain points were not clear.
  • I understand that all the information that I supply in relation to this study will be collected in a safe manner, will be published anonymously, and therefore will not lead back to me.
  • I understand that I can pull out of the study at any time and I do not have to provide a reason for doing so.
  • the data is stored for a period of 10 years, in accordance with the VSNU (Association of Universities The Netherlands) guidelines

See also the Open University privacy disclamer