The CSDI (Comparative Survey Design and Implementation) Workshop at the SHARE BERLIN Institute GmbH in Berlin, Germany

CSDI Workshop in Berlin | Bank for International Survey Answer Scales (BISAS): A Call to Action

The CSDI (Comparative Survey Design and Implementation) Workshop will be held on March 18th – 20th at the SHARE BERLIN Institute GmbH in Berlin, Germany.

In a session organised by Dorothee Behr from GESIS and focusing on methods, innovations and new challenges in questionnaire translation, Musab Hayatli, cApStAn Inc. in collaboration with Yongwei Yang from Google and Jon Krosnick from Stanford will present a proposal to set up an open-access database of high-quality multilingual answer scales that can be employed in surveys with minimal human intervention.

Quality translations allow survey participants to understand and respond to 3MC survey questions in ways that are consistent with the intended constructs and purpose. This in turn allows for valid comparisons of survey responses across languages. Challenges in translation quality are well recognised, and have been the focus of much discussion, in particular the importance of and difficulties in answer scale translations (Harkness, 2003; Harkness et al, 2004; Harkness, Chin, Yang, et al., 2007).

Yet, widely used answer scales continue to be translated and adapted differently and inconsistently, following varying approaches, and sometimes with little or no documentation, despite advances in translation technology and awareness of the importance of quality. Well-performing translations have not been systematically applied and controversial ones are still being used.

The international survey answer scale bank is designed to be:

  • Open-access and free.
  • Modular and flexible.
  • Dynamic and expandable.
  • Informative.
  • Easy to use.

In the presentation, the speakers will elaborate how they define and operationalize these five aspects.

The goal is to include only high-quality scales and translations in the bank, with quality supported by robust evidence on the scaling properties and linguistic fidelity of optimal sets of verbal labels, and on the performance of full scales. The evaluation process will also produce recommendations on whether previously used scales should be adopted or avoided.

The speakers call for collaborations from interesting parties across the CSDI community as they believe this joint effort is a valuable service to the entire survey field.

See you in Berlin, Germany on March 18-20!