Survey Instruments

Please click here if you want to search for surveys about a specific term from a list of constructs and titles [Warning: you will be leaving the MISQ Discovery "archive" and entering the "living version" of this work.].

Alternately, you can browse through the list which is in approximate alphabetical order by a main word in a construct or title [Warning: This is the archival list. See the "living work" for the most current list of constructs.]

These links provide IS researchers with actual survey instruments -- either in full text or via links to the appropriate citation. These instruments have been drawn primarily from the following seven journals:

Communications of the ACM
Decision Sciences
Information & Management
Information Systems Research
Journal of MIS
MIS Quarterly
Management Science

The section below describes how these journals were selected and how this list was created, but it need not be read first to make use of the list itself. This section also has links to other resources.

Evolution of the Database of Surveys, how it is Organized, and what it Contains


This sections describes how this database was created. The development of this resource of IS constructs and their associated instruments follows work in other disciplines which have also developed compendiums of instruments. It must be emphasized that this effort was started, and continues, as an experimental activity to aid the IS community. While more than 350 constructs and/or titles with citations are currently available, this has not been done in a fully systematic way. This collection has evolved based on what has been practical and possible at various stages. Much has been learned along the way. It has been a natural outgrowth of our DOS-based relational database of surveys in IS, the Calgary Surveys Query System. CSQS was developed to provide researchers with comprehensive access to surveys. It is still available, but does not run over a network and is only current through 1992. Nonetheless we hope researchers still find it a valuable resource, especially as it is now freely available. Based on what we have learned from CSQS, we have extended this information to the World Wide Web and are also making actual instruments available along with information about them.

Collecting survey instruments in IS is quite labor-intensive. While it has been possible to identify their use in the literature, securing copies and copyright permission has not always been easy. Some journals have given us blanket permission to reprint instruments, some have dealt with things on a case by case basis, and one refused us permission even to include on the Internet a single sentence describing a scale. More information on the permissions we have secured is available.

In this "ongoing experiment" our collection has evolved in stages. First a sampler of constructs from survey-based articles in 4 top MIS journals was created (as the World Wide Web became generally available to us in 1994). Next, authors of these articles were contacted along with others in our ongoing effort to make actual instruments available. Most recently seven major, readily available journals were reviewed (as part of a panel presented at ICIS '96). Evidence from CSQS indicates that these seven journals capture the bulk of technically acceptable instruments being published in the IS area (cf Zmud and Boynton, 1991). This review identified 162 articles since the original sampler. As we have discovered (and describe in the following section), there is often little agreement among researchers on exactly what constructs are being measured. Hence, we have not tried to identify specific constructs for these new citations, but have simply added the titles to our existing list of constructs -- as we feel this is the most practical way to make this information available. Of course we are always anxious to include specific constructs if authors or others clearly indicate them to us. We welcome your help in extending this list by providing active links to good quality instruments (wherever published) measuring specific IS-related constructs (along with copyright permission to post them). Please contact us via our e-mail addresses.

Constructs in the Database and their Organization and Classification

If survey researchers only used a few constructs and there was agreement about these, there would not be much need to categorize constructs and their measurement. However, hundreds of different constructs have been identified in the IS literature, and as a result, categorizing them is not a simple task. Our Calgary Surveys Query System alone has identified more than 4,000 constructs prior to 1993. The work of Barki, Rivard, and Talbot provides a useful hierarchy for all of MIS. A number of journals require submissions to be classified using this scheme, and this is the approach CSQS followed for those instruments which meet a minimum technical standard (Zmud and Boynton, 1991).

In addition to classification per se, there is often disagreement among researchers on what the distinct constructs actually are. In developing CSQS we have addressed this issue by following the indexing evaluation work of Preschel (1972) where agreement between researchers is based on the concepts they find in common in a given construct. Preschel's approach is described in more detail in our paper from the Harvard Symposium on Survey Research (Newsted, Munro, and Huff, 1991). While Preschel's method is not difficult, it does involve multiple researchers each reviewing an article and taking time to tabulate agreements and disagreements.

As we still wish to maintain a fair breadth of coverage of instruments, and because of the time required for Preschel's approach, we have decided to adopt a simpler procedure which we hope should also be useful to researchers. For instruments and citations since 1992, we now provide a general meta index that is a subjective guide to the relations/synonyms of common constructs. You may find it useful if you are having difficulty finding relevant material. It is a thesaurus-like table which lists constructs that in our experience are frequently related to one another. For example, if you're looking for something on work you might also look at task, career, and so on. The meta index is our subjective attempt to point researchers to further studies that may have an instrument that could be adapted to their needs. It isn't in a hyper-link format, but we hope it will alert you to additional terms that will facilitate your search. Such an approach must continually be monitored and updated as new terms emerge (e.g. end-user computer satisfaction and computer self-efficacy -- which are two common constructs in our current list)

Summary of what is Available on Actual Surveys

Based on the above evolution and organization, our site now provides two complementary options for finding constructs:

the initial CSQS database of constructs identified prior to 1993, and

a search mechanism for our list of constructs and titles identified from the sampler and our review since then (both described above). Many of these link to the actual full text of the instruments used. In addition, links to a number of other instruments that have been brought to our attention are also included.

o ISWorld Net Navigation Map

The ISWorld Research Home Page

Survey Instruments in IS

Survey Instruments [where you are now].