Call & Guidelines

DOCA aims to become a comprehensive research tool for variables. Therefore, we are calling for contributions to DOCA in two ways:

  • Option 1 – Adding a new variable: You can submit an entry for a variable that has not been previously captured in the database. After a successful review process, the variable will be entered in the corresponding section of the database.
  • Option 2 – Adding operationalizations to an existing variable: You can submit an entry that adds an operationalization to a variable that has already been recorded in DOCA. In this case, a new entry marked as "addition to variable XX" will be created. The existing entry must be referenced and linked to.


To ensure quality, all isubmissions  are reviewed by at least two editors.

Please send your suggestions for further variables to be added to the database to ( at any time. Please note the submission guidelines below:


Selection of Variables:

The author(s) of each database entry decide(s) which example operationalization is choosen. However, to be consistent, authors are asked to consider the following criteria:

  • Topicality
  • Relevance (possible indicators: citation frequency, expert opinion, ...)
  • Accessibility of variables
  • Quality (reporting of reliability coefficients)


  • Each Database entry follows (more or less) the following structure:

1.A brief description of the variable or construct

2.A brief description of the most common field of application / theoretical foundation

3.(If applicable) References/combination with other methods of data collection

4.A sample operationalization including

  • information about the selected study (research question/s; analyzed medium)
  • information about the variable or construct (level of analysis, reliability score, categories/values)
  •    5. (If available) (links to) the Codebook / Protocol / Dictioniaries or other relevant material


Please specify to which section (Basics & Procedures; News / Journalism ;  Fiction; Entertainment; /User-Generated Content, Variables for Automated Content Anaslysis)  the contribution belongs.

Type of Entry:

Please specify whether you submit an entry for a) a new variable oder b) an existing variable.


Each of the entries should consist of between 1,000 to 1,500 words, all included. The count includes the full text, notes, references, figures, illustrations, and tables.


Preferred English. But: Use original language of the operationalization. If applies: Use gender neutral language, e.g. He/She;  Autor*Innen

Citation Style

APA 6th


Please make sure that there are no copyright infringements when citing the operationalizations. This means that the operationalization must be published (check also databases like Gesis, Fors...)  and therefore quotable or you have obtained the rights for the publication from the author (we will send you an author's permission template asap).