Submittable's Reference Forms feature enables organizations to create custom recommendation forms that can be placed within an 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

Put your Reference Form into an Additional Form

Once you have completed a reference form, you can place it into any Additional Form that you send to submitters. When creating or editing an Additional Form, you will 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 receive an Additional 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 Additional Form. This enables submitters to get the reference request process started as early as possible. Because of this, supporting documents may be received before the accompanying Additional Forms are submitted. However, you will not see these reference documents until submitters actually submit the Additional Form.

Once the Additional 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 Additional Form details.

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