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Linking two studies

Before attempting to link two studies, make sure that you have the necessary user rights. Only users with “Manage settings” rights can create a linked study, review changes, review data impact and apply changes (otherwise all actionable buttons are disabled).

Linking two studies

When creating a new study, it is possible to choose between study types Real, Test and Example. Choosing the Real study type will set the current study to be Production study automatically:


You will be prompted to create a Linked Test study in this case:



Choosing Test or Example study type will set the current study to be Test study by default. You will be prompted to create a Linked Production study in this case.

Unique identifiers

Form Sync uses identifiers to map elements between the two linked studies. The unique identifiers can either be added manually or automatically when linking two studies. Linking studies is not permitted if unique identifiers are missing or not unique.

Once two studies are linked, modifying unique identifiers may result in a mismatch, therefore we recommend avoiding changes to the identifiers if you already have data collected. If this situation occurs, the system will display it as 1 addition and 1 deletion on the ‘Review Changes To Production’ view for the applied changes. It could also induce data loss if the update triggers the deletion of an element.

See below, for each element what attribute is used as the Form Sync identifiers:

  • For Option Groups, Surveys, Reports, Report Steps: ‘Name’
  • For Options: ‘Value’
  • For Fields: ‘Variable name’
  • For Validations: ‘Message’ (content of the validation)
  • For Study Phases, Study Steps, Survey Packages: ‘Identifier’

Linking two studies

To link two studies, follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the ‘Create Linked Test Study’ or ‘Create Linked Production Study’ button depending on the study type. If you haven’t specified the unique identifiers manually, the system will generate these identifiers automatically. It is possible to review the suggested new unique identifiers that will be added, and edit if necessary:


  1. Once you have reviewed and accepted the new unique identifiers to be added to the study structure, click on the ‘Add new unique identifiers’ button to proceed with applying the identifiers to the study structure:


  1. Once the two studies are linked together, new icons are displayed in the “My studies” view for all studies that have a linked study on hover-over the icon and text for a study, users can see a dynamic tooltip indicating which is the linked study.

Please note that for studies with many phases and steps, creating an initial linked study might take a while. No other properties of the source study will be automatically copied, such as further study settings, automations, randomization, users, user rights and roles, as well as their subsequent settings.

The name of the newly created test or production study is automatically generated: it contains two parts linked by an underscore “_”: the study Type and the name of the source study.

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  1. Castor Support Team

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