Dr. Daniel Danner

Survey Design and Methodology {Skalenentwicklung & -dokumentation@m}

+49 (621) 1246-171

Dr. Matthias Bluemke

Survey Design and Methodology {Skalenentwicklung & -dokumentation@m}

+49 (621) 1246-253

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 (CIS) 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 (CIS)

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

CIS 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 (CIS) is an open-access service. All published instruments can be freely downloaded and used for the purpose of non-commercial research (only). 

CIS currently contains more than 200 survey instruments for the social sciences, e.g. items for measuring political attitudes or short scales for capturing psychological variables (such as personality).



New scales in CIS (2016-2018)

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 commitment Culture, Religion, EducationGermanGermanNeyer, Felber & Gebhardt
HSSHappiness and Satisfaction Scale (ISSP) PersonalityEnglishGerman, English + 40 othersBreyer & Voss
PANAS German 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 Teamwork
Job & 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 Justice
Social ProblemsGermanGermanFischer, Baumert & Schmitt
ALLO-15German Scale for Assessing Allophilia - the love of other cultures
Culture, Religion, EducationGermanGermanSlavchova, Fröhlich & Stürmer
GPS-KA Short Scale of the General Procrastination ScalePersonalityGermanGermanKlingsieck & Fries

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. 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 CIS Submission Portal.
  • Contract: After acceptance of your contribution please sign and send the user agreement.

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):

Development of new scales for the social sciences

GESIS develops new survey instruments for the social sciences. To capture psychological variables more effectively and economically, GESIS has developed survey instruments over the past years, including instruments that measure:

GESIS also provides assistance with shortening existing measurement instruments and developing new short scales.