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GESIS AppKit for Smartphone-based Data Collection (in development)

*** The GESIS AppKit is a service in development. First elements will be available by the first quarter of 2024.
If you have questions, feedback, or wish to collaborate please e-mail us. ***

The GESIS AppKit provides a smartphone-based data collection infrastructure for survey and sensor data – tailored to the needs of social scientists. It consists of an interactive dashboard that allows researchers to design studies and manage study participants, and an app for surveying study participants on Android and iOS phones. With the GESIS AppKit, researchers can create mobile surveys following complex scheduling plans, gather participant-generated media content (e.g., text, images, and voice recordings), collect sensor data such as GPS locations or smartphone usage durations, and trigger event-based data collection, e.g., based on geofencing or usage patterns. 

The GESIS AppKit offers a technical solution to integrate intensive longitudinal designs such as ambulatory surveys, experience sampling or ecological momentary assessments into your research portfolio.

Timeline: The GESIS AppKit is currently being developed and tested, it will be rolled out incrementally. In a first step, a mobile survey component for Android will be released, followed by version for iOS and the addition of sensor data collection features. The first beta version of the AppKit for Android will be available in the first quarter of 2024.

The benefits of the GESIS AppKIt – you will get:

  • A toolkit made for researchers by researchers: The features of the GESIS AppKit are designed by social scientists and implemented by professional software developers. The GESIS AppKit is explicitly built with the needs of social science researchers in mind. We keep close contact with the community – through user feedback, our own research, regular expert workshops and conferences. 

  • Open Source & transparency: Both the code base of the GESIS AppKit and the (pre)processing scripts for the collected data will be open source. The GESIS AppKit thus contributes to make smartphone-based research more replicable and reproducible. 

  • A participant-centered approach: The data collection apps are designed to maximize usability for research participants. Participants can have transparent access to their own data, receive a modern user interface, and an app that minimizes battery life drain and data transmission volume. 

  • A no-code approach: The GESIS AppKit is designed to be simple, fast, efficient, and readily at hand for social scientists. No programming skills are needed for creating studies and collecting data. Anyone who can create an online questionnaire will be able to create studies using the AppKit!

  • Full control over the sample: The GESIS AppKit can be freely used in your own samples.  This gives researchers full control over their own sample. 

  • Long-term availability: The AppKit is an institutional infrastructure service maintained by GESIS. In contrast to short-term funded projects, the GESIS AppKit will be maintained, adapted, and expanded in the long term.  

  • Documentation & support: All features of the GESIS AppKit are documented clearly and appropriately. In addition, experts from GESIS are available for consultations on study design and data collection. 

  • GDPR compliance: The GESIS AppKit provides an infrastructure that enables researchers to collect their own data in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with little effort. 

  • An infrastructure to minimize your costs: The basic self-administered usage of the GESIS AppKit is free of charge for non-commercial scientific research. Additional services by GESIS – individual consulting, data processing, storage space, archiving – will be offered to the community at break-even price. Please find details here. 

  • The opportunity of customized collaborative development: The GESIS AppKit can be expanded according to your specific research requirements (charged service). This ensures that research budgets are used efficiently and to the benefit of the entire research

The GESIS AppKit is being developed jointly by GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, the University of Zurich, and the University of Bern. 

Do you have specific requirements in your research project that might be met by a customized version of the GESIS AppKIt? The GESIS AppKit can be collaboratively expanded (as a charged service). If you wish to collaborate or have questions on this please do not hesitate to contact us.