[open-science] Markup language for questionnaires

Jenny Molloy jcmcoppice12 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 27 18:25:03 UTC 2014

Hi Stian

I'm not personally involved in this area, but there is some activity at
Wikimedia which might be of interest:


On Sun, Nov 23, 2014 at 11:44 PM, Stian Håklev <shaklev at gmail.com> wrote:

> In my work with educational research, I often encounter questionnaires. I
> wonder if anyone know about existing or propose markup-languages for
> writing questionnaires? I did a bit of searching, but found only some
> academic papers and some mentions of heavy XML frameworks from the 1990's -
> nothing that looked very current or useful.
> My eventual vision would be to have something very light-weight, perhaps
> Markdown-based, and be able to generate both web and paper questionnaires.
> (I don't know if there's any good questionnaire websites that have APIs for
> ingesting or importing question setups?)...
> The second step would be able to automatically generate some R code, for
> example, to parse the incoming data from the web questionnaire service. I
> like Google Forms, but I always end up having to write a bunch of boiler
> plate, to change field names, convert things to ordered factors, etc. I
> should be able to specify in the questionnaire markup file that something
> is an ordered factor (like a Likert-type Not at all, somewhat, neutral
> etc), and get the data cleanup for free...
> Another advantage of a simple text-based format is that it would make it
> much easier to share and fork, diff etc questionnaires. There is a huge
> amount of standard questionnaires in educational science, for example, but
> many of them are encumbered with Copyright and high fee payments. And even
> if they are not, you are likely just to get them as PDF and having to
> retype them. I'd love a Github repo full of open sourced validated
> instruments for testing for example physics knowledge, and being able to
> fork one these, make a few changes, and right away see what has been
> changed, generate paper and online questionnaires, automatically clean up
> the data etc...
> So yeah, lot's of ideas. I'd love to hear if anyone else finds this
> interesting, or if you could point me in the direction of people who are
> already working on this kind of stuff.
> Stian
> --
> http://reganmian.net/blog -- Random Stuff that Matters
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