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Items und Skalen

Appropriate measurement instruments are the basis of successful social science research to capture attitudes, values, performance of individuals or groups.  We support researchers by providing empirically tested measurement instruments in the open access repository for social and behavioural science measurement instruments ZIS. We also advise on the development, evaluation and selection of measurement instruments. We develop measurement instruments ourselves on behalf of or out of our own research interest. 

Research of tested Items and Scales

Measurement instruments are systematically documented and evaluated in ZIS according to established quality standards. The content focus of the repository is on German and multilingual instruments that have been and/or can be used in social science surveys with heterogeneous population samples.

In ZIS, researchers can

  • publish tried and tested measurement instruments in an accessible, findable and citable form.
  • search for measurement instruments for their own research project (primary research, secondary research).

The publication of measuring instruments and the use of measuring instruments is always free of charge, at least for non-commercial research purposes.

In ZIS, more than 300 (as of December 2021) tried and tested measurement instruments from researchers in the social sciences and measurement instruments developed by ourselves are published. You can also find systematic documentation of measurement instruments from central social science surveys (e.g. ISSP, ALLBUS, ESS, PIAAC). In addition, numerous measurement instruments can be found that have been published in the open access journal Measurement Instruments for the Social Sciences (with BMC/Springer Nature as publisher).

Development of Items and Scales

We support you in shortening existing measurement instruments or in developing new short scales:

Support in item selection for shortening scales / measurement instruments:

We help you to shorten scales. We provide support in the selection of suitable methods (e.g. qualitative by visual validity, quantitative by factor loadings, ant-colony optimisation, etc.) including the interpretation of results and give concrete suggestions for shortening. 

Support in the psychometric validation of measurement instruments:

We advise on the selection of methods for testing dimensionality, reliability, validity, objectivity, measurement invariance and provide support in conducting the analyses (including code checks) and interpreting the results (including checking the results).

Use of multiform / planned missingness / incomplete block/ split questionnaire designs for scale development:

We advise you on the selection of the survey design and the distribution of items in the respective design. We offer practical support in the implementation and help you to select suitable analysis strategies (pairwise present / FIML / MI) for different scenarios.

Consultation Fee

There is an expense allowance of 80 euros per hour for our expertise. We will be happy to make you an offer.


Rammstedt, Beatrice, and Constanze Beierlein. 2014. "Can't we make it any shorter? The limits of personality assessment and ways to overcome them." Journal of Individual Differences 35 (4): 212-220.