Daniel Danner

Survey Design and Methodology Skalenentwicklung & -dokumentation

+49 (621) 1246-171

Matthias Bluemke

Survey Design and Methodology Skalenentwicklung & -dokumentation

+49 (621) 1246-253

Choosing useful questions is an essential part of survey research. For good survey quality we recommend using standardized, scientifically evaluated instruments (questionnaires/scales) that have been applied successfully before.

GESIS supports researchers finding the right solution, regardless whether the goal is selecting from a variety of validated questions or utilizing complete questionnaires. Furthermore, we share our expertise especially in developing new tools in accordance with the quality standards by the RatSWD, but also in the statistical evaluation of measurement instruments and pertaining measurement models.

Collection of items and scales (CIS)

A set of widely applied questionnaires is available for telephone, mail, or Internet-based survey research. They have been documented in the Collection of Items and Scales for the Social Sciences (CIS) (German "ZIS" = Zusammenstellung sozialwissenschaftlicher Items und Skalen). Its search tool allows quick identification of relevant tools.

CIS is an 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.

Advice for authors

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


  • Increase visibility: Publish your work in CIS. 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. CIS 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 CIS are:

  • Availability: Can the measurement instrument be used free of charge?
  • 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 template (.docx) for documenting your instrument.
  • Guidance: Further instructions (German only) can be found in the CIS Publication Guide.
  • Upload: Please upload your documentation via the convenient CIS-Upload-Page.
  • Contract: After acceptance of your contribution please sign and send the user agreement (197 KB) (currently only in German).

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

CIS team

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