Documentation of copyrighted survey instruments
A distinction can be drawn between non-licensed, open-licensed and commercial instruments (the latter are subject to copyright).
- The documentation of unlicensed instruments has to cite the origin of the instrument correctly, referencing a bibliographic source or a Persistent Identifier as reference to an online source (e. g. DOI). This also pertains to slight modifications of an instrument, which does not constitute the production of a piece of work.
- For openly licensed instruments, it is additionally essential to check whether the authors have assured the conditional use of the instrument (e. g. use for non-commercial purposes only, naming of authors, no changes to origin, informing the authors when using the instrument). For example, this adheres to the test procedures published in the electronic test archive of ZPID , subject to CC-BY-NC-ND-licence.
- Assessment instruments that have been purchased from a publishing house, subject to a copyright, can in most cases not be reproduced verbatim. It is still possible to publish data and make them interpretable that have been assessed via such instruments. For example, variables in a questionnaire need not be labelled verbatim. Instead, the name of an instrument or construct can be used together with an item number (e.g. „SELLMO – Annäherungs-Leistungsziele: Item 1 “). An analogue representation can be used in an added scale documentation, and the source of a scale, a brief description and possibly sample item can be included.
If uncertainties remain regarding the documentation and reproduction of scales and test instruments used in your research project, we recommend contacting the creators respectively copyright holders to request their consent to publication in your documentation respectively reach an agreement.