Successful survey research requires best-practice measurement instruments (items, scale, questionnaire, test, index). GESIS assists researchers by providing empirically tested measurement instruments in the Open Access Repository for Social and Behavioral Science Measurement Instruments (ZIS) (Zusammenstellung sozialwissenschaftlicher Items und Skalen). GESIS is continuously expanding the range of measurement instruments. This is done, on the one hand, by documenting survey instruments published in articles of the Measurement Instruments for the Social Sciences (with BMC/Springer Nature as publisher) and, on the other hand, by GESIS itself developing its own measurement instruments. In addition, we also advise researchers on the development, validation, and selection of measurement instruments for the social sciences.
Measurement instruments (item, scale, questionnaire, test, index) are systematically documented and evaluated in ZIS. The content of the repository focuses on German and multilingual instruments that can be used in social science surveys in heterogeneous population samples.
The aims of ZIS are
- the permanent accessibility and traceability of empirically tested measurement instruments,
- the uniform documentation of the theoretical background, the development and the quality criteria
- taking into account established scientific standards.
ZIS is both a publication service and a database with search function. The publication of measurement instruments and the use of measurement instruments for non-commercial research purposes are free.
More than 290 emprically tested measurement instruments (as of spring 2021) by researchers in the social sciences and measurement instruments developed by GESIS staff are published in ZIS. You will also find systematic documentation of measurement instruments from central social science surveys (ISSP, Allbus, ESS, PIAAC). In addition, numerous measurement instruments can be found that are published in GESIS's Open Access Journal Measurement Instruments for the Social Science (MISS) (with BMC/Springer Nature as publisher).
Researchers who are interested in publishing their measurement instrument in an Open Science journal with peer review are invited to consider submitting it to MISS. If possible, all measurement instruments published in MISS will also be documented in ZIS, making them even more visible and searchable.
Researchers who are primarily interested in the citability, visibility, and findability of their instrument and who would like a low-threshold and internal peer review procedure with specific advice on quality assurance of their documentation can alternatively submit the documentation of the instrument directly in ZIS.
GESIS develops new measuremnt instruments for the social sciences. GESIS also provides assistance with shortening existing measurement instruments and developing new short scales.
- To capture psychological variables more effectively and economically, over the past years GESIS has developed survey instruments that measure, among others: intelligence, personality (Big Five), optimism/pessimism, and interpersonal trust.
- Other scales target self efficacy, locus of control, willingness to take risks, and impulsive behavior.
- Sociologists may find the following measurement instruments relevant: life satisfaction, political self efficacy, justice sensitivity and authoritarianism.
- Some scales address social desirability and need for cognition.
Whereas the aforementioned items and scales have been published in German, the items are now also available in English. In near future they will be published, accompanied by evidence on measurement quality and comparability with the German source.
Scales on the following constructs are currently being evaluated in English, German, French, Spanish, Polish, and Japanese: personality, traditionalism, self control, self efficacy, integrity, social-emotional skills, (intellectual) curiosity, job orientations/work values, and job-related interests.
Articles in the GESIS Survey Guidelines:
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.