Dr. Clemens Lechner

Survey Design and Methodology
Skalenentwicklung & -dokumentation

+49 (621) 1246-151

Successful survey research requires best-practice items and scales. GESIS assists researchers by providing empirically tested measurement instruments in the Collection of Items and Scales for the Social Sciences (ZIS) as well as GESIS's Open Access Journal Measurement Instruments for the Social Sciences (with BMC/Springer Nature as a publisher), and by developing new measurement instruments. We also advise researchers on the development, evaluation and selection of measurement instruments for the social sciences.

Collection of items and scales (ZIS) & Measurement Instruments for the Social Sciences (MISS)

A set of widely applied questionnaires have been well documented in the Collection of Items and Scales for the Social Sciences (ZIS) (German "ZIS" = Zusammenstellung sozialwissenschaftlicher Items und Skalen). 

ZIS is a cost-free open-access publication system for

  • long-lasting access to proven items and scales,
  • the documentation of their theoretical background, development, and quality criteria,
  • while upholding established scientific standards.

We publish English, German and multilingual instruments as well as information on their development, quality criteria and theoretical background. If instruments have been implemented in publicly available surveys, their documentation is linked to publicly accessible datasets. Our main focus is on measurement instruments – both newly developed and established instruments –  that can be implemented in heterogeneous samples for surveys in the social sciences. The published measurement instruments are empirically tested, and their quality criteria are fully documented. The Collection of Items and Scales for the Social Science (ZIS) is an open-access service. All published instruments can be freely downloaded and used for the purpose of non-commercial research (only). 

ZIS currently contains more than 260 survey instruments for the social sciences, for example, items for measuring political attitudes or short scales for capturing psychological variables (such as personality).

Our ZIS scale repository is continually growing also internationally, partly due to using and hyperlinking to relevant articles that have been published in GESIS's Open Access Journal Measurement Instruments for the Social Science (MISS). Authors, who are interested in documenting their research first by publishing in an internationally visible scientific outlet with peer review und open science standards, are encouraged to submit their contribution to MISS.

New scales in ZIS (2016-2020)

ScaleNameCategoryLanguage DocumentationLanguage ItemsAuthor
WFCSWork-Family Conflict Scale (ISSP)Socialisation & familyEnglishGerman, English + 48 othersBreyer & Bluemke
NFC-TeensGerman Need for Cognition Scale for older children and adolescentsPersonalityGermanGermanPreckel
KPZShortscale Political Cynicism Political Attitudes and BehaviorGermanGerman, EnglishAichholzer & Kritzinger
TBShortscale Technology commitmentCulture, Religion, EducationGermanGermanNeyer, Felber & Gebhardt
HSSHappiness and Satisfaction Scale (ISSP) PersonalityEnglishGerman, English + 40 othersBreyer & Voss
PANASGerman Version of the  Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (GESIS Panel) PersonalityGermanGerman, EnglishBreyer & Bluemke
DMSGerman Drive for Muscularity Scale Public HealthGermanGerman, EnglishWaldorf, Cordes, Vocks & McCreary
BFI-2German Version of the Big Five Inventory 2PersonalityGermanGerman, EnglishDanner, Rammstedt, Bluemke, Treiber, Berres, Soto & John
SFCQShort Form Cultural Intelligence ScaleCulture, Religion, EducationEnglishEnglish + 4 othersThomas et al.
SJT-TASituational Judgment Test for TeamworkJob & CareerGermanGerman

Gatzka & Volmer

EEDEmotional Empathic Drive Short ScalePersonalityEnglishGerman, EnglishKarlstetter
MOB-SWKScale for Assessing Teachers' Bullying-related Self-Efficacy  PersonalityGermanGermanFischer, Ulbricht & Bilz
SBSSupernatural Belief Scale - German VersionCulture, Religion, EducationEnglishEnglish, German + 2 othersBluemke, Merkle, Jong & Halberstadt
EPriVergeAttitudes towards Principles of Distributive JusticeSocial ProblemsGermanGermanFischer, Baumert & Schmitt
ALLO-15German Scale for Assessing Allophilia - the love of other culturesCulture, Religion, EducationGermanGermanSlavchova, Fröhlich & Stürmer
GPS-KA Short Scale of the General Procrastination ScalePersonalityGermanGermanKlingsieck & Fries
MBEMedia-based EmpathyPersonalityGermanGermanHapp & Pfetsch
BOKXJob- and Organizational Climate IndexJob & CareerGermanGerman, EnglishFischer et al.
KFI-30Motivational Functions of Exploratory Cross-Cultural Contact Culture, Religion, EducationGermanGerman, EnglishStürmer & Benbow
ZFSTemporal Focus ScalePersonalityGermanGermanGeiger, Domenech & van der Meer
FIRE-PFeedback Instrument for Rescue Forces Education - ExaminationsJob and CareerGermanGermanThielsch, Busjan & Frerichs
CCS-T-7CCS-Based 7-Item Traditionalism ScalePersonalityEnglishEnglish, German + 4 othersPartsch, Danner & Chernyshenko
CCLSCross-Cultural Loss ScaleCulture, Religion, EducationEnglishEnglishWang, Wei, Zhao, Chuang & Li
MWSMeasurement Instrument for the Perception of Study RequirementsCulture, Religion, EducationGermanGermanJänsch & Bosse
AkOrMAcculturation Orientierung of MigrantsCulture, Religion, EducationGermanGermanMaehler
MISANDSMeasurment Instrument for the Identification of the Tendency to Drop out of a Dual Study Programme Culture, Religion, EducationGermanGermanDeuer & Wild
FIRE-BFeedback Instrument for Rescue Forces Education - Basic TrainingJob and CareerGermanGermanThielsch, Kläpker & Streppel
FIREFeedback Instrument for Rescue Forces EducationJob and CareerGermanGermanSchulte, Babiel, Messinger & Thielsch
MENIMultigroup Ethnic and National Identity MeasureCulture, Religion, EducationGermanGermanMaehler
KSDO-3Kurzskala Soziale Dominanzorientierung Social ProblemsGermanGermanAichholzer
PISPartisan Identity ScalePoliticsEnglishEnglishBankert & Huddy
KSE-G (English)Social Desirability-Gamma Short Scale (KSE-G)PersonalityEnglishEnglishNießen, Partsch, Kemper & Rammstedt
KSA-3 (English)Authoritarianism Short Scale (KSA-3)PoliticsEnglishEnglishNießen, Schmidt, Beierlein & Lechner

Advice for authors

Have you developed and empirically tested a measurement instrument yourself? Then why not publish your instrument in ZIS?


  • Increase visibility: Publish your work in ZIS. Your document will receive its own permanent DOI (digital object identifier) to facilitate citations.
  • Keep your copyright: Demonstrate your copyright claim, and maintain the essential rights on your scale.
  • Promote new research: Share your instrument with other scientists.
  • Acquire new data: Letting other researchers use your scale will boost the volume of data on your instrument.


Each submission will be reviewed. The objective of reviewing to to optimize the quality of your publication. ZIS documentations are meant to observe the quality standards for the development, application, and evaluation of measurement instruments in social science survey research by the RatSWD and the test evaluation system by the test board of the Federation of German Psychologists' Associations.

Criteria for publication in ZIS are:

  • Availability: Can the measurement instrument be used free of charge for non-commercial research?
  • Relevance: Is the instrument relevant for the social sciences?
  • Integrity: Does the documentation cover information about the theoretical background, development, and quality criteria of the instrument?
  • Topicality: Has the scale been empirically tested recently with a heterogeneous sample?


  • Template: Please use the templates (.docx) for documenting your instrument and preparing an answer sheet.
  • Guidance: Further instructions can be found in the ZIS Publication Guide (https://doi.org/10.6102/pubguide2.English). Additionaly, the requirements for the documentation of instruments are summarized in a Checklist (334 kB).  Use the offer to link to public or shared datasets or to publish them with GESIS datorium.
  • Upload: Please upload your documentation via the convenient ZIS Submission Portal.
  • Contract: After acceptance of your contribution please sign and send the user agreement (211 kB).

If you are interested in spreading your instrument via ZIS or have any questions on the publishing process, do not hesitate to contact the editors or scientific supervisors among the ZIS team.

ZIS team

The success of ZIS crucially depends on collaborative efforts from various sides including authors of scale documentations and scientists from the GESIS department Survey Design & Methodology (SDM):

Development of new scales for the social sciences

GESIS develops new survey instruments for the social sciences. GESIS also provides assistance with shortening existing measurement instruments and developing new short scales.

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.