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International Adaptation of Measurement Instruments

Criteria

International Adaptations of Measurement Instruments should present a questionnaire or itemized testing procedure in different languages. The international harmonization of measurement instruments, one of the goals of MISS, is crucial to scientific progress. Social surveys, their items, item-sets, or questionnaires including the response options, need to be comparable across languages and/or cultures. International adaptations of an instrument require at least its translation to different languages, or adaptation to different cultural backgrounds. The instrument described may either be completely new, although in many cases there will be an existing source instrument (or reference standard) prior to commencing the translation or adaptation process.

The manuscript has to provide a theoretical rationale, a measurement model, and describe a demonstrable advance on what is currently available, or known about current measurement approaches. The quality of the translation or adaptation process has to be high and documented well, ideally following the TRAPD approach. In addition, the manuscript has to shed light on the comparability of the assessed concepts across different contexts. Either the source instrument or the new adaptation needs to have been well tested and ideally, but not necessarily, used in a way that proves its value. Typical examples for International Adaptations of Measurement Instruments―one from a psychological area, two from the domain of social surveys―are Leung, Marsh, Craven, & Abduljabbar (2016), Hofmann, Schori, & Abel (2013), and Chan, Kasper, Brandt, & Pezzin (2012).

Comparability across groups in terms of language, nationality, or cultural markers is an asset. Yet limited comparability does not preclude publication; instead the current knowledge should be documented for future reference and scientific progress. The application of an instrument in the same language to different ethnic backgrounds (subpopulations) does not qualify for a submission as an International Adaptation of Measurement Instruments (see, for instance, Peterson et al., 2017), but for a submission as a New Measurement Instrument instead.

MISS publishes measurements instruments for educational, psychological, sociological, or economic concepts that are of relevance to social scientific research, especially for describing the general population. Ideally, they qualify for interdisciplinary application in several scientific disciplines. Research articles must be original and focus on measurement instruments, their quality, their utility, and what inferences may be drawn on the basis of their application. The focus of MISS is on advances in measuring social-scientific aspects and concepts. Response modes (e.g., online survey, telephone interviewing) have to be properly specified.

This article type is characterized by multiple international samples, each of sufficient sample size, and ideally each representative for the general or target population. They are used for the analysis of the quality of measurement instruments. The quality of the measurement instruments must be evaluated in line with recent methodological standards (e.g., the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing developed by the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and National Council on Measurement in Education). A checklist for comprehensive reporting and which quality criteria are considered adequate is provided by GESIS

MISS strongly encourages that all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely should be available to readers. We encourage authors to ensure that their datasets are either deposited in publicly available repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main manuscript or additional supporting files whenever possible. Please see Springer Nature’s information on recommended repositories.

Maximum length (as a rule of thumb): 4000 words of text (not including abstract, tables, figures, acknowledgments, references, and online-only material), with no more than a total of five tables and/or figures. The title or subtitle should include either the phrase "A Translation" or "An Adaptation."

Double-blind peer review

Please note: Measurement Instruments for the Social Sciences operates double-blind peer review. The following information should not be included in the main manuscript file, but should instead be uploaded as part of the covering letter:

  • Title page
  • Competing interests
  • Authors’ contributions
  • Acknowledgements
  • Authors’ information

Manuscript structure

  • Abstract (unstructured abstract of no more than 300 words)
  • Theoretical background (research domain, construct definition, motivation for new tool, measurement approach)
  • Instrument (source/reference instrument: purpose/application field, item format, item wordings, response options, scoring/weighting scheme, rules for aggregation to scale level etc)
  • Scale development (item selection, sample(s)/recruitment/descriptives, test construction, measurement model, translation/adaptation process)
  • Quality Criteria (objectivity, reliability, validity, international comparability/equivalence and fairness, norms/reference ranges)
  • References
  • Supplementary online material: instructions, questionnaires in all presented translations (mandatory); code/syntax for analysis of scores, code/syntax to replicate analyses, datasets/databases (encouraged)

Declarations

All manuscripts must contain the following sections under the heading 'Declarations':

  • Availability of data and materials
  • Competing interests
  • Funding
  • Authors' contributions
  • Acknowledgements
  • Authors' information (optional)

Please see below for details on the information to be included in these sections.

If any of the sections are not relevant to your manuscript, please include the heading and write 'Not applicable' for that section.

Availability of data and materials

For all journals, BioMed Central strongly encourages all datasets on which the conclusions of the manuscript rely to be either deposited in publicly available repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main paper or additional supporting files, in machine-readable format (such as spreadsheets rather than PDFs) whenever possible. Please see the list of recommended repositories in our editorial policies.

For some journals, deposition of the data on which the conclusions of the manuscript rely is an absolute requirement. Please check the Criteria section for this article type (located at the top of this page) for journal specific policies.

For all journals, authors must include an “Availability of data and materials” section in their article detailing where the data supporting their findings can be found. If you do not wish to share your data, please state that data will not be shared, and state the reason.

For instructions on how to cite your data and format this section see preparation/style and formatting.

If you wish to co-submit a data note describing your data to be published in BMC Research Notes, you can do so by visiting our submission portal. Data notes support open data and help authors to comply with funder policies on data sharing. Co-published data notes will be linked to the research article the data support (example).

Competing interests

All financial and non-financial competing interests must be declared in this section. See our editorial policies for a full explanation of competing interests. If you are unsure whether you or any of your co-authors have a competing interest please contact the editorial office.

Funding

All sources of funding for the research reported should be declared. The role of the funding body in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript should be declared.

Authors' contributions

The individual contributions of authors to the manuscript should be specified in this section.

Acknowledgements

Please acknowledge anyone who contributed towards the article who does not meet the criteria for authorship including anyone who provided professional writing services or materials.

Authors should obtain permission to acknowledge from all those mentioned in the Acknowledgements section.

See our editorial policies for a full explanation of acknowledgements and authorship criteria.

Group authorship: if you would like the names of the individual members of a collaboration Group to be searchable through their individual PubMed records (where applicable), please ensure that the title of the collaboration Group is included on the title page and in the submission system and also include collaborating author names as the last paragraph of the “Acknowledgements” section. Please add authors in the format First Name, Middle initial(s) (optional), Last Name. You can add institution or country information for each author if you wish, but this should be consistent across all authors.

Authors' information

You may choose to use this section to include any relevant information about the author(s) that may aid the reader's interpretation of the article, and understand the standpoint of the author(s). This may include details about the authors' qualifications, current positions they hold at institutions or societies, or any other relevant background information. Please refer to authors using their initials. Note this section should not be used to describe any competing interests.

Footnotes

Footnotes should be designated within the text using a superscript number. It is not allowed to use footnotes for references/citations.

References

Examples of the American Psychological Association (APA) reference style are shown below. For further guidance, see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association and the respective web site of the Association (http://www.apastyle.org/).

See our editorial policies for author guidance on good citation practice.

Web links and URLs: All web links and URLs, including links to the authors' own websites, should be given a reference number and included in the reference list rather than within the text of the manuscript. They should be provided in full, including both the title of the site and the URL, as well as the date the site was accessed, in the following format: The Mouse Tumor Biology Database. http://tumor.informatics.jax.org/mtbwi/index.do. Accessed 20 May 2013. If an author or group of authors can clearly be associated with a web link, such as for weblogs, then they should be included in the reference.

Example reference style:

Article within a journal

Harris, M., Karper, E., Stacks, G., Hoffman, D., DeNiro, & R., Cruz, P. (2001). Writing labs and the Hollywood connection. Journal of Film Writing, 44(3), 213-245.

Article by DOI (with page numbers)

Slifka, M.K., & Whitton, J.L. (2000). Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. Journal of Molecular Medicine, 78(2), 74-80. doi:10.1007/s001090000086.

Article by DOI (before issue publication and without page numbers)

Kreger, M., Brindis, C.D., Manuel, D.M., & Sassoubre, L. (2007). Lessons learned in systems change initiatives: benchmarks and indicators. American Journal of Community Psychology. doi: 10.1007/s10464-007-9108-14.

Article in electronic journal by DOI (no paginated version)

Kruger, M., Brandis, C.D., Mandel, D.M., & Sassoure, J. (2007). Lessons to be learned in systems change initiatives: benchmarks and indicators. American Journal of Digital Psychology. doi: 10.1007/s10469-007-5108-14.

Complete book

Calfee, R.C., & Valencia, R.R. (1991). APA guide to preparing manuscripts for journal publication. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Book chapter, or an article within a book

O'Neil, J.M., & Egan, J. (1992). Men's and women's gender role journeys: Metaphor for healing, transition, and transformation. In B.R. Wainrib (Ed.), Gender issues across the life cycle (pp. 107-123). New York: Springer.

Online First chapter in a series (without a volume designation but with a DOI)

Saito, Y., & Hyuga, H. (2007). Rate equation approaches to amplification of enantiomeric excess and chiral symmetry breaking. Topics in Current Chemistry. doi:10.1007/128_2006_108.

Complete book, also showing a translated edition [Either edition may be listed first.]

Adorno, T.W. (1966). Negative Dialektik. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. English edition: Adorno, TW (1973). Negative Dialectics (trans: Ashton, E.B.). London: Routledge.

Online document

Abou-Allaban, Y., Dell, M.L., Greenberg, W., Lomax, J., Peteet, J., Torres, M., & Cowell, V. (2006). Religious/spiritual commitments and psychiatric practice. Resource document. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.psych.org/edu/other_res/lib_archives/archives/200604.pdf. Accessed 25 June 2007.

Online database

German emigrants database (1998). Historisches Museum Bremerhaven. http://www.deutsche-auswanderer-datenbank.de. Accessed 21 June 2007.

Supplementary material/private homepage

Doe, J. (2006). Title of supplementary material. http://www.privatehomepage.com. Accessed 22 Feb 2007.

FTP site

Doe, J. (1999). Trivial HTTP, RFC2169. ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2169.txt. Accessed 12 Feb 2006.

Organization site

ISSN International Centre (2006). The ISSN register. http://www.issn.org. Accessed 20 Feb 2007.

Figures, tables and additional files

See General formatting guidelines for information on how to format figures, tables and additional files.

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