Survey 2021 – Results

In May and June, conducted a user survey. Read more about initial results.

The post is part of a series on suggestions we received during our 2021 user survey.

We would like to thank all respondents for their time and feedback. We are very happy with the number of pariticipants and with the results. This blog post presents an initial overview of results. Upcoming posts will discuss suggestions and other feedback we received through the survey. is used around the world, users in 74 countries filled out the questionnaire (greetings to Australia & New Zealand!). The largest share of respondents (31%) work in Germany, followed by Austria (12%), Italy and Greece.

Since when do you use

31% of the respondents use since before 2018, 40% startet using it between 2018 or 2021 (i.e. after our latest relaunch), and 21% visited for the first time when they filled out the questionnaire (the latter number is partly explained by invitations to participate in the survey in external newsletters).

Frequency of use

6% visit less frequently than once a month (not including the 21% of first-time users mentioned above). 5% use it once a month, 26% a several times per month, 36% use a couple of times a week, and 23% use daily. Some of the following questions were only posed to those using at least monthly.

From those using at least monthly, 40% are decision makers (of any instance), 20% legal advisors or lawyers, 28% are COI researchers and 12% others.


47% of respondents are working for a government authority dealing with refugee status determination (including courts and tribunals). 17% are working in refugee assisting NGOs, 11% are refugee lawyers or legal counsels, and 6% work for an international organization.

User satisfaction

The respondents is highly satisfied with usability, navigation, the search function, and the up-to-date-ness. See the following figure for details.

As for the selection of regularly covered sources, 75% of respondents rate their satisfaction with either 1 or 2. provides brief summaries in English and German languages describing each document. Many respondents find them very helpful. As can be expected, the summaries are slightly more helpful for German language heavy users.

Usage frequency of various features

We asked our users how often they use various features of, namely:

  • the country pages,
  • the list of important documents,
  • links to country profiles,
  • maps,
  • national laws,
  • the search form,
  • and the featured topics.

Of these features, the country pages and the search form are (by far) the most frequently used, the links to external profiles and our featured topics (only available for a few countries) are the least frequently used.

Additionally, we asked our users how often they us the following features:

  • recommended citation,
  • Blog,
  • research baskets,
  • weekly e-mail alerts,
  • search assistance by our COI Thesaurus,
  • and our source descriptions.

This blog is the least-used (and least known) feature. Some features seem to be very useful for some users, and not useful for others (Recommended citation, alerts, thesaurus). Some features are only available for registered users (baskets, alerts).

Ease of use

We asked our users how easy it is for them to:

  • identify the publication date of an entry
  • identify the source/publisher of an entry
  • identify the original title of an entry

Identification of these metadata seems to be easy for the large majority of users, with the original title being slightly more difficult to identify.

Search function

We asked about the usefulness of several functions of the search. Please see the following figure on what functions of the search engine respondents use:

Next steps

We will discuss suggestions and feedback received through the survey in upcoming posts in this blog.

If you have further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us:

If you want to compare these results with our previous user surveys, see the blog posts for the 2010 survey and the 2007 survey.

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