DDI Controlled Vocabulary for Type of Instrument


Includes a typology of data collection instruments.


Short Name:
Long Name:
Type of Instrument
Version Notes:
The definitions for "Data collection guidelines" and "Data collection guidelines: Self-administered writings guide" were edited for clarity.
Version Changes:
DEFINITION REPHRASED: DataCollectionGuidelines; DataCollectionGuidelines:SelfAdministeredWritingsGuide.
Canonical URI:
Canonical URI of this version:
Location URI:
Alternate format location URI:
Alternate format location URI:
Agency Name:
DDI Alliance

Code List
Value of the Code Descriptive Term of the Code Definition of the Code
Questionnaire Questionnaire Set of pre-determined questions presented to study participants.
Questionnaire.Structured Structured questionnaire Set of pre-determined questions, a great majority of which are closed-ended, although there may be a small proportion of open-ended questions.
Questionnaire.Semistructured Semi-structured questionnaire Set of pre-determined questions, a significant proportion of which are open-ended (roughly one third to two thirds), and the rest are closed-ended.
Questionnaire.Unstructured Unstructured questionnaire Set of pre-determined questions, a great majority of which are open-ended, although there may be a small proportion of close-ended questions.
InterviewSchemeAndThemes Interview scheme and/or themes Themes, topics, and/or questions used in an interview. Can vary between loosely defined themes to more exactly formulated questions. There is more flexibility than in an unstructured questionnaire regarding which questions are asked of each participant and how they are conveyed.
DataCollectionGuidelines Data collection guidelines Directions or instructions regarding the methods and procedures to be used for collecting the data. Use a more specific term if possible.
DataCollectionGuidelines.ObservationGuide Data collection guidelines: Observation guide Guidelines regarding what will be observed. Depending on the study design, an observation guide can be more or less structured, ranging from exact specifications and scales to loosely formulated ideas.
DataCollectionGuidelines.DiscussionGuide Data collection guidelines: Discussion guide Guidelines for a group discussion. Depending on the study design, a discussion guide can be more or less structured, ranging from exactly formulated questions to general ideas on what to discuss. For example, a list of topics to be discussed in a focus group, or themes formulated by a researcher to direct a blog discussion, etc.
DataCollectionGuidelines.SelfAdministeredWritingsGuide Data collection guidelines: Self-administered writings guide Guidelines regarding the desired, or expected content of self-written personal accounts or narratives from potential participants. The instructions can be supplied as part of the writing invitation or separately. For example, an invitation asking people suffering from a specific disease or disability to describe how it affects their feelings, social relations, and everyday life; or a writing invitation asking people to keep a diary of books read during a period of six months and the thoughts provoked by the books.
DataCollectionGuidelines.SecondaryDataCollectionGuide Data collection guidelines: Secondary data collection guide Guidelines specifying what data are to be collected from previously existing sources originally created for other purposes. For example, directions on how to select and code data from qualitative sources to create a quantitative dataset.
ParticipantTasks Participant tasks A description of tasks that participants are asked to carry out as a part of the data collection process. For example, marking places on a map, taking photographs, telling a fairy tale, etc.
TechnicalInstruments Technical instrument(s) Instruments used to collect objective data like measurements, images, etc. For example, chronometers, scales, speedometers, blood pressure monitors, thermometers, x-ray machines, etc.
ProgrammingScript Programming script Programming script written in a data query language that is used to extract specific data, for instance from online social networks.
Other Other Use when the type of instrument is known, but not found in the list.


A brief description of the type of instrument, primarily for classification purposes. Supports the use of an external controlled vocabulary.

Module Name Element Name
datacollection TypeOfInstrument

DDI-Codebook (DDI 2.5 and all previous DDI versions) does not include an element that would support this controlled vocabulary.

Element Number in DDI 2.1 Element/Attribute Name

Copyright and License

Copyright DDI Alliance 2017.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.

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