Frequently Asked Questions

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Submitting public opinion research (POR) to Library and Archives Canada (LAC)

I've completed my POR project. What must I submit to LAC?

The following documents must be submitted for each public opinion research (POR) project:

  1. Narrative executive summary (as a separate file)
  2. Final report (including in the same file a full description of the methodology used and all appendices)

Note:

  • All documents must be submitted in both English and French (as separate files)
  • Executive summaries and final reports must be submitted in both PDF/A and web-accessible HTML5 formats
  • Where relevant, research data must be sent in CSV (Comma Separated Value) format

The Public Opinion Research Contract Regulations (sections 2 and 3) set out the required contents of a POR written report. For more information, please see the POR Submission Instructions.

How does the Directive on Open Government apply to POR?

The Directive on Open Government states, under section 6:

6. Requirements

The departmental Information Management Senior Official is responsible for the following:

6.1 Maximizing the release of Government of Canada open data (structured data) and open information (unstructured documents and multi-media assets) under an open and unrestrictive license designated by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat as outlined in Appendix B.

6.2 Ensuring that open data and open information is released in accessible and reusable formats via Government of Canada websites and services designated by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. […]

Under Appendix B:

Appendix B: Mandatory Release of Government Information

[…]

Open Data:

All data resources of business value held by Government of Canada departments are to be open by default and released as open data unless subject to valid exceptions, such as ownership, security, privacy, and confidentiality, as determined by the department. The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat will support departments in the development of their decision-making and approval processes with regard to legal and policy issues by providing a release criteria checklist and other guidance tools.

In accordance with the Directive, LAC no longer accepts proprietary digital file formats of any type, which includes multimedia files used in conducting a POR project (e.g., digital video files; where relevant, please send storyboards instead). File types that are not accepted include DOCX, XLSX, PPTX, etc.

I've heard that all POR must now be "web accessible." What does that mean?

Section 3.1 of the Standard on Web Accessibility states that the Government of Canada has adopted the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 ("WCAG 2.0"). WCAG 2.0 provides guidelines to ensure web content is "…accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these."

The Standard on Web Accessibility, section 6.1.1, states that all public-facing web resources provided through Government of Canada websites and web applications must meet all five WCAG 2.0 conformance requirements. Further, the Standard on Web Accessibility, section 2.2, states that the responsibility for web accessibility rests with the department "that is accountable for the (POR) content." For this reason, all POR submitted to LAC must be submitted in accessible formats.

Can LAC create web-accessible copies or convert my digital file formats for me?

No. Federal organizations are solely responsible for the content, presentation, conformance, accessibility and quality of their POR executive summaries and final reports, as outlined in the Public Opinion Research Contract Regulations, the Directive on the Management of Communications, the Standard on Web Accessibility, and LAC's POR submission instructions.

How do I ensure that my POR is compliant with the Standard on Web Accessibility?

The Standard on Web Accessibility, section 2.2, states that the responsibility for web accessibility rests with the department accountable for the (POR) content. For this reason, LAC cannot give technical guidance on this matter.

In practice, compliance is usually accomplished by publishing all public-facing web resources through your departmental web services unit. Any policy or technical questions on the Standard on Web Accessibility should be directed to your departmental Web Standards Centre of Expertise or the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Information Management Division or Web Standards Office:

Web Standards Office
Chief Information Officer Branch
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Ottawa ON K1A 0R5
E-mail: webstandards@tbs-sct.gc.ca

Information Management Division
Chief Information Officer Branch
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
8th Floor, 270 Albert Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0R5
Email: im-gi@tbs-sct.gc.ca
Toll-free: 1-877-636-0656
Fax: 613-946-9342
TTY: 613-957-9090 (Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat)

My POR includes data. Can LAC host my data?

Yes. Where relevant, research data should be sent to LAC in CSV (Comma Separated Value) format.

In accordance with the Directive on Open Government, section 6, LAC does not accept or provide access to proprietary data file formats.

For more information, please see the POR Submission Instructions.

What is a CSV file?

A CSV file is a plain text file with tabular data. Fields within each line of data are separated by commas or other delimiters such as tabs or semi-colons thus CSV stands for Comma Separated Value. Almost all commercial spreadsheet programs (e.g. Microsoft Excel) and freely available open source spreadsheet programs (e.g. OpenOffice Calc, Google Sheets, Numbers, etc.) can open a CSV file and format it into a table with columns and rows.

How do I open a CSV file?

When in the POR portal, to convert a CSV file for a POR report to be displayed in a spreadsheet software, here are the steps:

  1. Right click on 'Data Tables' and save (Save Target) to your computer
  2. Open a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc, Google Sheets, Numbers, etc
  3. Open the saved file in the spreadsheet program (browse all files)
  4. Follow the Text Import prompts to select comma delimited format. All the data will then be displayed in columns
  5. Consult your spreadsheet program's help pages for further advice on how to import a CSV file
LAC hosts my POR dataset, but I would also like it to be available on Open Data Portal. How do I do that?

Departments submitting POR to LAC may also be interested in having their data hosted at the Government of Canada Open Data Portal. See the instructions on how to submit your dataset to Open Data Portal.

What is the maximum file size that I can upload to the POR website?

The LAC POR website can accept submissions of up to 200 megabytes in total data size. If you are unable to submit to LAC because of this data limit, contact bac.rrop-porr.lac@canada.ca.

I've sent my POR to LAC. Do I also need to send it to the Library of Parliament?

No. Upon submission of your POR through the LAC POR Portal (this website), a copy of your POR project is simultaneously sent to the Library of Parliament on your behalf.

My POR deadline is approaching, and my POR isn't ready for final submission. Should I submit a draft copy to LAC so I don't miss my deadline?

No. Please do not submit POR projects that are not yet finalized or that are missing any components, as these will not be approved by LAC.

If your POR deadline is approaching and your POR is not ready for submission, contact bac.rrop-porr.lac@canada.ca for instructions.

When will the POR project that I submitted to LAC be accepted and approved? How will I know?

Upon submission of your POR to LAC, an acknowledgement will be automatically sent to the indicated contact person. This acknowledgement is not a submission approval. Notification of the approval of your submitted POR will be sent in a subsequent email once your POR has been verified. We will also notify the Public Opinion Research Directorate at Public Services and Procurement Canada once your POR has been received and approved. Your approval email will include hyperlinks to your POR project on the LAC POR website.

For more information, please see the POR Submission Instructions.

I'm submitting a POR project from a federal organization that is not required to do so under the Financial Administration Act. I therefore don't have a POR project number. What do I do?

LAC is pleased to accept POR projects for publication and for transparency purposes from federal organizations that are not obligated to do so under legislation.

Please submit your POR according to the POR Submission Instructions through the POR website's "Submit a report" page, omitting the POR project number.

Can I make changes to my POR projects after I've submitted them to LAC?

No. LAC cannot make administrative changes of any kind to submitted POR projects. Please carefully review your finalized POR projects to ensure that all requirements are met prior to submission.

Please do not submit POR projects that are not yet finalized or that are missing any components.

Once my POR has been submitted to LAC, how long does it take to make it available on LAC's POR website?

POR is a high priority for LAC. POR projects are processed and available through the LAC POR website's "Find a report" function within 5 business days.

If you cannot find your POR in our catalogue, contact bac.rrop-porr.lac@canada.ca.

Our department wants to coordinate the live release of our POR at LAC with an important departmental media event. Can LAC do this?

Yes. Contact bac.rrop-porr.lac@canada.ca to make arrangements.

Locating and accessing POR projects at LAC

What is included in this site? What is not included in this site?

This website publishes and provides access to POR projects that were submitted to LAC electronically and that were contracted by Government of Canada organizations as of August 1, 2006.

This website does not include the following resources:

  • POR published prior to August 1, 2006 (see the question in this FAQ on how to access earlier POR projects in print)
  • Research that is conducted internally by Government of Canada organizations (which are not technically POR projects)
  • Syndicated studies or surveys (which are not technically POR projects, as these are subscription services and are not done exclusively for the Government of Canada)
  • POR projects prepared for federal organizations that fall outside the definition of a "department" (as defined in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act) will be present in the POR collection only if the federal organization has chosen to proactively submit to LAC
Is there a master index for all POR on LAC's website?

Yes. View a master index of all POR in digital form that is accessible through this website.

I submitted my POR to LAC but cannot find it in the website's catalogue, and/or LAC's bibliographic record for my POR is incorrect or incomplete. Whom do I contact for help?

Contact bac.rrop-porr.lac@canada.ca for assistance in locating the POR project in question. Please include the POR project name, the name of the original contact person, the submitting federal organization name, and the POR number of the project.

How do I obtain copies of POR that are available only in print, and/or were published before the LAC POR website came into existence (August 1, 2006)?

POR projects that were published only in print and/or prior to August 1, 2006, are not available for consultation on the LAC POR website. Bibliographic records for these POR projects can be located through LAC's catalogue, Aurora. Searching for POR projects in Aurora can be difficult, but we can help you. There are various Ways to Ask Us a Question.

Print copies of POR projects can only be consulted in LAC's reading room at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. They can be retrieved for consultation by filling out the request for material retrieval form or by requesting the item in Aurora. The Request an Item page provides more information about how to request items in Aurora. To make the most of your visit to LAC, see the overview of our Services for the Public. Requests for copies of specific pages of a print POR report can be submitted using the Ordering copies online.

I've checked the LAC POR website and Aurora but cannot locate the POR that interests me. What can I do?

Contact bac.rrop-porr.lac@canada.ca for assistance in locating the POR project in question.

If a POR project has not been submitted to LAC and is therefore not accessible through our POR website, information on, or copies of, that project can be obtained from the Communications unit of the federal organization that contracted that research.

Contact information for all Government of Canada organizations is available at GCdirectory.

I ran a search for a particular POR, but the final report is only available in one official language! How do I get a report in the other official language?

Federal organizations were not required to submit bilingual POR final reports to LAC until August 14, 2014 (when the Procedures for the Management of Public Opinion Research came into force).

LAC makes accessible all of the POR written reports that it receives. Federal organizations that have not submitted a bilingual POR written report to LAC must produce a copy in an official language upon official written request from a member of the public, as per the Official Languages Act, Part IV (e.g., section 27).

Requests for a POR written report in one of the official languages of Canada should be directed to the Communications unit of the department that contracted that research and submitted the POR to LAC.

Contact information for all Government of Canada departments and agencies is available at GCdirectory.

Public and media relations

I'm a member of the press and have questions about a particular POR project. Can LAC answer my questions?

No. Federal organizations are solely responsible for the content, presentation, accessibility and quality of their POR executive summaries and final reports, as outlined in the Public Opinion Research Contract Regulations, the Directive on the Management of Communications, the Standard on Web Accessibility, and LAC's POR submission instructions.

Questions about the content or context of any particular POR report should be referred to the Communications unit of the department that issued the contract for that research.

Contact information for all Government of Canada departments and agencies is available at GCdirectory.

My question isn't addressed here. How can I contact you?

For any other questions not included in this FAQ, contact bac.rrop-porr.lac@canada.ca.

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