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Consultation on Survey Instruments

Standardized, scientifically tested survey instruments are an indispensable prerequisite for the quality of the data collected in a survey. The development of a questionnaire that is correctly understood and answered by the respondents requires expertise in survey methodology. Our GESIS experts will review your items, scales and questions, checking their suitability for your project. If you are planning a cross-national or multilingual survey, we will be happy to advise on appropriate translation methods. Benefit from our many years of experience for your project - we have the right expert for all your questions!

Our Consulting Services for your Survey Instruments

Questionnaire Design and Question Wording

Questionnaires are among the most important data collection instruments in social science research for obtaining quantitative data to measure attitudes and behaviour. Our experts provide advice on the development and design of questionnaires. Our consulting covers, for example, administration, length, principles of question wording as well as problem types and quality requirements. In addition, we offer individual consulting where we review your survey instrument in detail and provide concrete suggestions for improvement. 

Item and Scale Development

Items and scales are measurement instruments used to capture social science characteristics. In order to obtain valid data, these instruments must meet scientific standards and also be tailored to your survey. Thanks to our many years of experience and GESIS' own research activities, our experts can support you in the selection, development and evaluation of social science measurement instruments.

Socio-structural Characteristics

In survey research, socio-structural characteristics are important concepts to be measured and analyzed, as they make the social structure of societies visible. Our experts will be happy to advise on the measurement of socio-structural characteristics, their coding, and their harmonization across samples, e.g. for cross-national studies. Our focus is on the measurement of education and socio-cultural background.

Here, you can learn more about the measurement of socio-structural characteristics.

Adaptation and Translation of Questionnaires

International and multilingual surveys are challenging, because in addition to the linguistically correct translation of the survey instruments, cultural differences and location peculiarities must also be taken into account. We support you in your project with our experience in international survey projects. In addition to consulting on scientific methods of questionnaire translation, we support you with training and translation guidelines for your research project. If requested, we also provide consultancy on questionnaire development in an international context. 

Here, you can learn more about questionnaire translation.

Basic Knowledge

We have compiled various sets of information and hands-on guidelines on frequently occurring consulting topics. These already answer many questions that may arise when planning a study and collecting data. You can find this information under Basic Knowledge.

Consulting fees

Our consulting services in the form of 'helping you to help yourself' are free of charge. Additionally, we are happy to support you with more in-depth services, which are fee-based. You will find further information in our pricing overview. 

To the pricing overview (109 kB)

Here, you can access our form for consulting services. With this form, you can quickly and easily request individual advice from our experts.

Cognitive Pretesting:

  • Implementation of cognitive pretests (in combination with eye tracking), also online

Items & Scales:

  • ZIS - Open access repository for social and behavioral science measurement instruments: Database and publication service of measurement instruments with systematic documentation and evaluation.
  • Support for shortening existing measurement instruments or developing new short scales

Socio-structural characteristics:

  • CAMCES-Tool for collecting and coding socio-economic characteristics in computer-assisted surveys
  • Demografic standards: A joint recommendation of the ADM Arbeitskreis Deutscher Markt- und Sozialforschungsinstitute e. V. , the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sozialwissenschaftlicher Institute e. V. (ASI) and the Federal Statistical Office.

A suitable introduction to this topic and an initial overview of possible solutions can be found in the  Survey Guidelines