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GESIS Symposium “Advances in Scale Development in the Social Sciences: Issues of Comparability”

Public Call for Contributions

GESIS, Mannheim, Tuesday 14 – Wednesday 15 November 2017 

Aims and Scope

GESIS provides a unique venue for interdisciplinary expert meetings and symposia, to which we warmly invite you. This year’s two-day symposium on Advances in Scale Development will focus on how to deal with comparability issues. The topics range from assessing conceptual issues (i.e. functional and structural equivalence) to ensuring validity throughout the whole process of scale development. Key experts bridging different disciplines (e.g., social sciences, psychology, sociology) will give talks and present cutting-edge advances, exchange ideas about standards of the field and agree on shared views about best practices. In the course of the expert meeting there will be room for round-table discussions of the different positions with the aim to arrive at a blueprint for future best practices. The following topics might be discussed: the role of external linkages (ie. nomological network of meaning) for ensuring comparability of measurements, structural equivalence, measurement invariance with different approaches, the role of translations, and cognitive pretesting to ensure comparability, etc. Papers on theoretical approaches, critical treatises, empirical studies, and best practice approaches can be submitted. Innovative contributions in early developmental stages are also welcome.

We are happy to welcome Jon Krosnick (Standford, USA), Fons van de Vijver (Tilburg, Netherlands), Gerard Saucier (Oregon, USA), Michael Eid (Berlin), Matthias Ziegler (Berlin), Johnny Fontaine (Ghent, Belgium), Eldad Davidov (Cologne), Klaus Boehnke (Bremen), Jaak Billiet (Leuven, Belgium), Matthias von Davier (Philadelphia, USA), Ana Villar (London, UK) and Kristen Miller (Washington, USA) who all have agreed to give talks and participate. The meeting and informal get-togethers provide ample opportunity to critically review ways to handle issues of comparability, to identify challenges in current scale development practice, and to discover possible remedies. We expect valuable contributions that are likely to shape survey research. The organizers will invite all contributors to internationally publish the conference outcomes, e.g., as a book or part of a book series.

GESIS invites interested researchers to attend the meeting. The presentations should be comparatively short (10 minutes) allowing enough room for discussions.  Authors interested in contributing to the GESIS symposium should submit their proposal (max. 350 words) to expert-meeting(at)gesis(dot)org

Accepted and registered contributors will be invited to share – on a voluntary basis - and circulate their presentations among symposiums participants prior to the symposium, as a preparation and basis for effective discussions.

Important dates

Deadline for abstract submission: July 31, 2017

Decision: September 01, 2017

Registration (latest): October 01, 2017

Voluntary submission of presentations for circulation: October 30, 2017

Information about Registration

Accepted contributions will be eligible to register for the Expert Meeting. Detailed information about the registration process will be sent in due time. The financial contribution towards the expenses (e.g. coffee breaks, snacks, drinks and lunches) is €50,00.

We look forward to welcoming you in Mannheim. More information on traveling and accommodation can be found at here.

Organization Team

Katja Hanke: katja.hanke(at)gesis(dot)org

Matthias Bluemke: matthias.bluemke(at)gesis(dot)org

Natalja Menold: natalja.menold(at)gesis(dot)org

Beatrice Rammstedt: beatrice.rammstedt(at)gesis(dot)org

Conference Location

University of Mannheim
Mannheim Palace

S0 418/422 (Schneckenhof Ost)
68159 Mannheim


Phone:  ++49 (0) 621 181 2395 (Welcome Center for International Researchers)

Organizers’ Address

GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
B2, 1
68159 Mannheim


Phone:  +49 (0)621-1246-0