The goal is to develop an inventory of shareable assessment instruments from across the social sciences (e.g. mental health, social adjustment, social functioning, quality of life, happiness, use of health services, participation in work). The database is a searchable on-line wiki type database called the Measurement Instrument Database for the Social Sciences (MIDSS).
The intention is for researchers from around the world to submit their measurement instruments to the database such that it becomes the first place for researchers to look for measurement tools.
The development of the MIDSS is supported through funding by the Irish Social Sciences Platform (ISSP) under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions, administered by the Higher Education Authority and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Currently, it can be difficult to obtain copies of assessment instruments. Oftentimes they are not published in journal articles, therefore other researchers interested in using the questionnaire will have to contact the author of the paper to obtain a copy of the instrument that was used and tracking down authors can often be problematic.
MIDSS will be important to social scientists for a number of reasons:
- It will serve as a repository for tests and measures that have been described in journals, dissertations, technical reports, and books.
- It will enable researchers to trace the lineage of tests and measures over time.
- It will significantly reduce incidence of researchers and students making up tests (and duplicating work that has already been done) when they cannot find one that suits their research.
- It will support the improvement of tests and measures.
- It will provide a database for researchers to ‘deposit’ measures that they have developed and increase the likelihood that they will be used.
- It will increase the impact of authors' works by making the primary data collecting tools available to others and this will lead to a secondary effect of increased citations for instruments that are used.
Overall Project Principal Investigator
- Dr. James Cunningham
Editor and Project Lead
- Dr. Paul O'Connor
- Prof. Chris Curtin
- Prof. Pat Dolan
- Dr. Brian Hughes
- Prof. Gerard Quinn
- Prof. Tom Scharf
- Ms. Noreen Lenihan
- Ms. Sinead Lydon
- Ms. Melissa O'Hea
- Ms. Valerie Parker
- Ms. Gwen Ryan