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Special Issue: Measurement Instruments in Corona Studies

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Guest Editors

Carina Cornesse, University of Mannheim, Germany
Katja Möhring, University of Mannheim, Germany
Katharina Meitinger, University of Utrecht, Netherlands

Since the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, many surveys have collected data on the societal, psychological, and economic impact of the pandemic. Among other aspects, these surveys inform debates about how to restrict the spread of the virus, identify and protect vulnerable population sub-groups, save jobs and businesses, and educate children in socially distanced environments. To gather such COVID-related social science data, researchers need to develop new measurement instruments and/or adapt existing ones to the new social reality as well as the need for contactless data collection. Researchers face numerous challenges in the development of these instruments. This includes dealing with and capturing the impact of unforeseen epidemiological developments, such as the discovery of new virus mutations, as well as new political measures, such as closing and re-opening schools and starting and ending economic aid programs. In addition, researchers need to ensure that their instruments are suitable for contactless data collection (e.g. via web), and tackle the obvious societal problems (e.g. mass unemployment) as well as the potentially less obvious problems (e.g. risks of social isolation). 

To document the newly developed and adapted COVID-related measurement instruments, Measurement Instruments for the Social Sciences invites researchers to submit Short Report manuscripts (up to 3,000 words) for a special issue on Measurement Instruments in Corona Studies. The manuscripts should describe a newly developed or adapted measurement instrument, provide insights into its objectives and data quality (e.g. reliability and/or validity), and reflect on its strengths and weaknesses. Examined measurement instruments may include, but are not limited to:

  • Behavioral instruments (e.g. on social distancing or homeschooling)
  • Latent construct scales (e.g. on virus-related fear or risk of social isolation)
  • Socio-demographic instruments (e.g. on working from home, furlough schemes, support networks, work division in couples)
  • Measurement effects of switching to contactless data collection (e.g. web or telephone).

Submissions to the special issue are welcomed between March 15 and June 30, 2021. Upon submission, manuscripts will be peer-reviewed within approximately one month and will be published online soon after acceptance. Please note: For each submitted manuscript the submitting author is required to peer-review one manuscript from another research group within the peer-review period (July 1 to August 15). Each manuscript will be reviewed by one author of another submitted manuscript as well as one other, external reviewer.

Electronic copies of the manuscripts should be uploaded following the instructions listed here. Please indicate your wish to submit your article to the special issue in an accompanying cover letter. The special issue is sponsored by the Collaborative Research Center SFB 884 “Political Economy of Reforms” and GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. All accepted articles will therefore be published free of charge under an open access license. Any questions regarding this special issue should be directed to Dr. Carina Cornesse (

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  1. Contact-tracing smartphone apps that rely on users’ private data have been proposed as important tools in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of these apps, however, has sparked new debates on the value of...

    Authors: Susanne Helmschrott, Kartik Anand, Sophie Zhou and Tobias Schmidt
    Citation: Measurement Instruments for the Social Sciences 2022 4:10
  2. This article describes the context, development, objectives, and content of three instruments. They stem from two questionnaires, used in the ERiK-Surveys 2020 and the Corona-KiTa-Study (CKS), two multi-perspe...

    Authors: Johannes Wieschke, Diana D. Schacht, Florian Spensberger, Nicole Klinkhammer and Mariana Grgic
    Citation: Measurement Instruments for the Social Sciences 2022 4:7
  3. We explore mask-wearing behavior during the coronavirus pandemic using the Self-Appraisal of Masking Instrument (SAMI). We situate this survey-based instrument within a theory in which the decision to mask ref...

    Authors: Ray Block Jr and Eric Plutzer
    Citation: Measurement Instruments for the Social Sciences 2022 4:4
  4. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a vast increase in the demand for fast, frequent, and multi-faceted data to study the impact of the pandemic on people’s lives. Existing data collection infrast...

    Authors: Carina Cornesse, Marisabel Gonzalez Ocanto, Marina Fikel, Sabine Friedel, Ulrich Krieger, Tobias Rettig and Annelies G. Blom
    Citation: Measurement Instruments for the Social Sciences 2022 4:2
  5. This short report describes the development of a COVID-19 module for Round 10 of the European Social Survey (ESS). The module is formed of 20 items, including 10 agreed with ESS National Coordinators and 10 de...

    Authors: Tim Hanson, Marc Helbling, Rahsaan Maxwell, Richard Traunmüller, Kostas Gemenis and Levente Littvay
    Citation: Measurement Instruments for the Social Sciences 2021 3:9

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