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For my Ph.D. thesis, I developed a new usability method which focuses on a survey. The main contribution is a description for practitioners how to conduct such a survey. For this, I could not develop a standard questionnaire, but gave guidelines on how to construct one.

I am validating the method by conducting such a survey myself. My target population consists of German-speaking people (I’m measuring the usability of a software available only with a German interface), so my questionnaire is in German.

I want to add the questionnaire in the appendix. But my thesis is written in English. Now, my question is: Should I provide the questionnaire in English or in German?

  • If I provide it in German, some readers won’t be able to understand it, and it won’t be useful as an example if some of them want to apply the method themselves. Note that my reviewers speak German, so this won’t be a problem for them.
  • If I provide it in English, it won’t be a documentation of what I actually used in the experiment. Note that in psychometry, a translated questionnaire is not considered equivalent to the original and when a standard questionnaire is developed, any translation is required to be validated again.

What is the proper thing to do here? Use the original experiment material, even if it is of no use to many readers, or create an approximation which has not really been validated and whose usefulness is thus diminished as well?


Returning back to my old question, now that I am close to finishing - there is about 15 pages per questionnaire, with 4 questionnaires, so I already have a 60 pages in this appendix. I also have another appendix with 50 pages. If I double the questionnaire-containing appendix, I will have 170 pages worth of appendices at a 100-115 pages thesis, which seems excessive.

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    Why not include both? – ff524 Nov 2 '15 at 16:00
  • I don't see why the size should stop you from including both versions. However long the texts are, they are very relevant to your work. – svavil Jan 29 '17 at 22:34
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Providing both the original and the translation would satisfy everyone.

  • This could easily be done with a simple table, depending on the length of the questions. It's important that it be both, too - although it's only once and clearly anecdotal, I've seen a paper rejected because the reader could not understand a 'foreign' language in the paper. Their reasoning was that if you want to publish a paper in an English publication, a reader who only speaks English should be able to understand it. If you're publishing for an international group, perhaps it would be more accepted, although you still can't expect people to speak two specific languages. – Jake Nov 2 '15 at 21:17
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Both. Depending on how you structure your thesis, you may include one of them in an appendix.

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