Research QDDS-2 - A questionnaire development documentation system


Due to pretest results, a questionnaire is usually revised several times during construction. For several purposes such as data analysis and data storage, as well as further questionnaire development in future studies, it is necessary to document those revisions in detail. This extensive documentation is also indispensable for teaching in survey research.
Nonetheless, this documentation is usually done only partially or not at all, due to a lack of useful documentation tools.

Project description

Goal of this project is the development of a program system that allows permanent electronic documentation of questionnaire development and the final state of the instrument. The program should be suitable for paper&pencil, face-to-face and CATI instruments. A database for each questionnaire will contain information on formal aspects of each question, such as response categories and mode of answering (pick any that apply, ranking, magnitude estimation etc.). Furthermore formal criteria such as type of question, character of replies, context and subject of the question can be saved.

The questionnaire of the Defect Project (documented with QDDS) will be used for a prototype implemented.

German project description







The software and some example documents (containig DEFECT, ESS 2006 (Germany), ALLBUS 2004 and SOEP 2006) can be downloaded at

Small documentation for complex questionnairs (german) [pdf]


Rainer Schnell (project head) (


The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).