Last month, quite a few people across the US received a flu questionnaire in Google Opinion Rewards. That data helped Carnegie Mellon University’s COVID-19 forecasting efforts, with Google and YouTube now promoting another research survey from the school.

Visiting Google’s dedicated COVID-19 Information & Resources page this week yields a “Help Carnegie Mellon University researchers track the spread of COVID-19” banner with a big “Take a brief survey” button. A similar message also appears near the “Top news” shelf on the YouTube homepage.

This voluntary survey is part of a research study led by the Delphi group at Carnegie Mellon University. Even if you are healthy, your responses may contribute to a better public health understanding of where the coronavirus pandemic is moving, to improve our local and national responses.

The survey is hosted by Qualtrics and explicitly notes that it is “not conducted by Google and no individual responses will be shared back to Google.” Rather, the company and university have an ongoing partnership.

The Opinion Rewards survey in late March was the result of CMU researchers and its epidemiological forecasting group asking Google if it could help with COVID-19 forecasting efforts. Given Google’s vast reach online, anything that it promotes will be sure to get a large number of views.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: