Submittable's Reference Forms feature enables organizations to create custom recommendation forms that can be placed within an Initial Form or  Additional Form for receiving recommendations or any other type of third-party supporting document on behalf of submitters. Submitters have the ability to direct these forms to the recommender of their choice by entering the recommender's email into the reference form field when completing an Additional Form.

To create a new reference form, follow these steps:

  1. Click on Forms at the top of the page, then click Reference Forms on the left side of the page.
  2. Click the New Form button. This will bring you to the form builder. Here you can create a reference form in the same way you would create any other form.  
  3. Give your new Reference Form a name, then drag the desired fields from the tool box area on the left.
  4. You may preview the form you are building at any time by clicking on the Preview button at the top of the page.
  5. When you've finished building the Reference Form, click Save

Place your Reference Form into an Initial Form or Additional Form

Once you have completed a Reference Form, you can place it into any Initial Form or  Additional Form that you send to submitters. When creating or editing forms, you'll see the Reference Form option in the toolbox at the left side of the page. Drag the Reference Form field into your Additional Form.

Give your Reference Form a title. In the example below it is called "Outside Recommendations." Below the title field you'll see a dropdown list where you can select any Reference Form that has been created in your account. Choose the form you want your submitters to send to their outside recommenders. You may add as many Reference Form fields to your Additional Form as you'd like. You must add a Reference Form field for each supporting document you would like to receive on behalf of submitters.

When submitters complete a Form that contains a Reference Form request, they will enter the email address of their recommender into the Reference Form field. Submitters also have the option to send a personalized note with the reference request. This is how the Reference Form field appears for submitters:

Submitters also have the option to send reference requests before actually submitting their form. This enables submitters to get the reference request process started as early as possible. When this option is selected, supporting documents may be received before the actual forms are submitted. However, organizations will not see these reference documents until submitters actually submit the complete form.

Recommenders will be notified by email that someone is requesting for them to complete a Reference Form on their behalf. The email they receive will contain a link to easily access the Reference Form.

Once a form is submitted, you will be able to see if reference requests have been received or not. If they've been received, you will also see the date that they came in within the form details.

How to Open a Reference Form for Editing

Occasionally, you may receive a requests from recommenders (or submitters) to allow recommenders to re-visit a previously submitted Reference form in order to make changes to the initial Reference Form submission.  

Questions? Interested in adding Reference Forms to your organization's account? Please contact our Account Management team here. You can also contact support directly by filling out the form here.

Did this answer your question?