Mobile Apps and Sensors in Surveys


6 - 7 March 2024
Washington, DC, United States

Call for abstracts for 5th MASS workshop

Call for Abstracts

5th Mobile Apps and Sensors in Surveys (MASS) Workshop:

Date: March 6-7, 2024
Location: Washington, DC (USA)

This time, the Mobile Apps and Sensors in Surveys (MASS) workshop takes place jointly with the

Current Innovations in Probability-based Household Internet Panel Research (CIPHER; see conference.

CIPHER will be held from March 7-8, and presenters at either event are invited to attend both events.


Context of the workshop
Mobile devices allow researchers to collect data through built-in sensors, such as GPS, accelerometers, and other sensors, passively collect data in-browser, and use apps in addition to self-reports. Passive mobile data collection can potentially decrease measurement errors and reduce respondent burden. Active data collection using apps, camera, microphone, and other sensors allows researchers to broaden the research questions they want to study. Incorporating new measurements to augment or replace survey questions through sensors and apps brings challenges for representativeness, survey design and implementation, and measurement. This also includes ethical and legal considerations that are yet to be understood.
The goal of this workshop is to bring together around 40 researchers from different disciplines to discuss the current state of their work on the use of mobile apps and sensors in survey data collection. The workshop is only open to people who are presenting a paper at CIPHER or MASS. Upon acceptance participants are expected to submit a handout (max. of 5 pages). The fourth MASS workshop was held at the University of Manchester in June 2023 (see

Importantly, even though MASS and CIPHER take place jointly, both events manage their submission and registration process separately. Researchers are eligible to submit abstracts to MASS and CIPHER, but the content of the abstracts must differ and should be tailored to the scope of the events. Participants accepted for CIPHER can also participate in MASS, and vice versa.

Topic scope of the workshop

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

-Technical aspects of mobile apps and sensors
o Different ways to collect sensor data
o Building apps for Android and iOS
o Data processing and storage

-Study and app design
o Look and feel of apps
o Use of incentives
o Giving feedback to respondents

o Willingness to participate and informed consent
o Methods to invite and communicate with study participants
o Study length and study intensity
o Legal considerations
o Ethical and privacy considerations

– Quality of sensor data
o Errors of non-representation (e.g., self-selection, coverage, and non-participation)
o Measurement error (e.g., prevention, modeling, and correction)

-Data analysis
o Analyzing sensor data (e.g., through machine and deep learning)
o Combining survey, sensor, and app data

We specifically encourage submission of work in progress and are particularly interested in studies that used an experimental design to test strategies to collect data using mobile apps and sensors successfully. We are open to both empirical studies as well as descriptions of data collection infrastructure (e.g., front- or backend of an app) and processing of data from apps and sensors.


Travel support for PhD students
MASS workshop can provide travel support (up to $600) for PhD students. PhD students who want to be considered for travel support need to state this in their submission email and provide an explanation for why they should be considered for travel support.

Submission process and timeline

It is no longer possible to submit abstracts.

The abstract should contain a research question, data collection procedures/the description of the app, and results if available. If results are not available yet, the abstract should outline the type of analyses that will be presented at the workshop and whether data collection took place already. Participation in the workshop is only possible when an abstract is accepted for the workshop. We intend to keep the workshop limited to about 40 participants.

01 December 2023: Deadline for abstract submission
10 December 2023: Feedback on acceptance will be provided
15 February 2024: Deadline for handout submission – all participants will be required to submit a 5-page handout presenting context, screenshots, tables, or other supporting materials for the workshop. Participants are expected to read all handouts before coming to the workshop.
06 March 2024: Start of MASS workshop

Your MASS Organizing committee
Jan Karem Höhne (DZHW, Leibniz University Hannover)
Florian Keusch (University of Mannheim)
Peter Lugtig (Utrecht University)
Bella Struminskaya (Utrecht University)