Mobile Apps and Sensors in Surveys


1 Dec 2021 - 28 Feb 2022

call for abstracts 3rd MASS workshop

The call for papers for the 3rd MASS workshop is closed. Participants have been informed about acceptance of their paper. The workshop programme will be available soon.

16-17 June 2022


Utrecht University, the Netherlands

The workshop is currently planned as an in-person event.

Organizing committee

Bella Struminskaya, Peter Lugtig (Utrecht University), Florian Keusch (University of Mannheim), Jan K. Höhne (University of Duisburg-Essen)


Context of the workshop

Augmenting survey data with data collected from mobile apps, sensors, and wearables allows researchers to better explore and understand social reality, further develop research methods, and scale laboratory experiments. The number of studies that utilize the features built into smartphones and other wearable devices to study human behavior and interaction has grown in recent years. Passive mobile data collection using sensors allows researchers to collect data at a rate and detail that is not possible with traditional survey methods. However, incorporating sensor measurements to augment or replace survey questions through sensors and apps creates methodological challenges around representativeness, survey design and implementation, measurement, as well as ethical and legal considerations that are yet to be understood.

This 2-day workshop is jointly organized by researchers from the department of Methods and Statistics at Utrecht University, the Professorship for Statistics and Methodology at the University of Mannheim, and the Department of Political Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen. The workshop is free of charge for participants, but participants are expected to cover their own travel and lodging costs.


The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers from different disciplines to discuss the current state of their research on the use of mobile apps, sensors, and wearables in survey data collection. The workshop is only open to participants whose abstracts will be accepted for a paper presentation.


Two previous MASS workshops were held at the University of Mannheim (2019) and virtually (2021). The program as well as some presentations from these earlier workshops can be found at


For the 3rd MASS workshop, we invite contributions that focus, among others, on the following methodological issues when using mobile apps, sensors, and wearables in surveys:

  • Technical aspects of mobile apps, sensors, and wearables
    • Different ways to collect sensor, app, and wearable data
    • Building apps for Android and iOS
    • Data processing and storage
  • Study and app design
    • Look and feel of apps
    • Usability studies
    • Use of incentives
    • Giving feedback to respondents
  • Implementation
    • Willingness to participate and consent
    • Methods to invite and communicate with study participants
    • Study length and study intensity
    • Legal, ethical, and privacy considerations
  • Quality of data from mobile apps, sensor, and wearables
    • Errors of non-representation (self-selection, coverage, and nonparticipation)
    • Measurement error (prevention, modeling, and correction)
    • Validity of measurements with mobile apps, sensors, and wearables
  • Data analysis
    • Analysis of sensor data
    • Combining survey data with data from mobile apps, sensors, and wearables

Participation in the workshop is only possible when an abstract is accepted for the workshop. We intend to keep the workshop limited to about 35 participants. We will aim for a representation of diverse topics, methodological approaches, and research groups.



  • 28 February 2022: Deadline for abstract submission.
  • 21 March 2022: Feedback on acceptance will be provided.
  • 1 June 2022: Deadline for handout submission – all participants will be required to submit a 6-page handout presenting context, screenshots, tables, or other supporting materials for the workshop. All participants are expected to read all handouts before coming to the workshop.
  • 16 & 17 June 2022: Workshop