MASS and CIPHER 2024

Each year since 2021 we have held the Current Innovations in Probability-based Household Internet Panel Research (CIPHER) Conference in the Washington D.C. area, later offering a hybrid option.

This year, the joint conference will take place March 6-8 in Washington D.C. Interested researchers can register for either or both conferences, and submit abstracts of proposed presentations to either CIPHER or MASS (see below) The preliminary program is as follows:

  • March 6: MASS Workshop
  • March 7, morning: Joint MASS and CIPHER Conference
  • March 7, afternoon and March 8, morning: CIPHER Conference
  • March 8, afternoon: UAS Data User Workshop


Dr. Andrew Mercer, from Pew Research Center, will deliver the keynote address on March 8, entitled “From buggy whips to bogus respondents: Changing perspectives on data quality in online surveys.”

CIPHER Conference

The annual CIPHER Conference continues to be the flagship platform for continued learning, offering an opportunity to connect with the global research community that uses this tool across a range of fields and disciplines. It is a venue for international researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers to share lessons on developing, deploying, and using probability-based internet panel research.

As in previous years, the conference will focus on the  innovations, challenges, and opportunities of population-representative probability-based online panels.

This year’s call for papers focuses on the following areas:

  • Transparency and best practices in probability-based panel recruitment and retention practices;
  • Survey methodology and practice;
  • Experiments;
  • Data management and linkages;
  • Developments and analysis techniques;
  • Applications of research;
  • Combination of wearable devices data with self-reports;
  • Contextual data
  • Naturally occurring data;
  • Machine learning.

UAS Data Use Workshop

Following the success of last year’s Understanding American Study (UAS) data use workshop, we are again offering the opportunity to participate in a half-day workshop, for those interested in learning more about the UAS panel and its data and data products. The data use workshop will take place on March 8, and will also feature short presentations of studies that have used UAS data. The UAS is a probability-based online panel of over 13,000 households in the US, managed by the Center for Economic and Social Research at USC. Registration for the workshop is separate. Please let us know if you would like to give a brief presentation of work you have done with UAS data.

MASS Workshop

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).

Please see the MASS call for papers here.

CIPHER Call for Papers Submission Guidelines

Proposals for papers and panels are invited from all sectors in the field and will be evaluated anonymously by reviewers selected by the Conference Organizing Committee.

The following guidelines apply:

  • All submissions must focus on methodological or analytical aspects of probability-based internet panels;
  • Innovative or interactive formats are encouraged;
  • Please indicate in the submission if you will join in person or virtually;
  • Paper proposals: Paper submissions must include a 250-word abstract;

To submit a paper, please complete this form.

The deadline for paper and panel proposals is December 10th, 2023.

The results of this call for proposals will be announced in early January 2024

Conference Registration and Fees.

CIPHER is free to attend in-person or virtually, but registration is required. To register for CIPHER and/or the UAS Data Use Workshop, please complete this form.

Scientific Committee

Arie Kapteyn, Jill Darling, Marco Angrisani, and Francisco Perez-Arce (USC Center for Economic and Social Research); and Jan Karem Höhne (MASS).


This conference has been made possible through funding from a grant partnership between the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration.

Closed Captioning will be available.


Below you will find a description of our past events. Click on the conference year to access to videos and agendas.

In its fifth year, the annual Current Innovations in Probability-based Household Internet Panel Research (CIPHER) Conference again offered a forum for exchange, dissemination and learning. As in previous years, the focus of the conference was on population-representative probability-based online panels, which enable us to paint an in-depth portrait of how people in the United States and other countries are doing.

Dr. Brady West, Research Professor in the Survey Methodology Program, located within the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research on the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, delivered the keynote address “Moving from a national probability-based push-to-web survey to an online probability-based panel: What are the issues?” on the first day of the conference.


CIPHER’s fourth annual conference provided a venue for international researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers to share lessons on developing, deploying, and using probably-based internet panel research. Dr. Frauke Kreuter, Co-director of the Social Data Science Center (SoDa) and faculty member in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM) at the University of Maryland, will present the keynote address on “Robustness in an Uncertain World.”

We held our third Current Innovations in Probability-based Household Internet Panel Research (CIPHER) conference to provide a platform for researchers to share challenges, opportunities, and successes. The third CIPHER conference was entirely virtual and took place on 4th and 5th March, 2021. Dr. Peter Lugtig, associate professor at the department of ‘Methods and Statistics’ at Utrecht University, presented keynote address on “What Internet panel surveys can learn from the design of smartphone-app studies.”

This year, we broadened the scope of the event to ensure inclusion of more international perspectives, and that voices from the policy, non-governmental and private sectors are more fully represented.

CIPHER 2020 focused on new approaches to the design of probability-based Internet and mixed-mode panels, their applications in research and policy, and the potential and challenges ahead.  Presenters this year spoke about research using a range of online panels, including the Canada PROBIT panel, NORC’s AmeriSpeak panel, Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel, the Dutch LISS panel, the UK Understanding Society panel, and CESR’s Understanding America Study, amongst others.,

Our keynote speaker was Professor Annette Jäckle, Professor of Survey Methodology and Associate Director of Innovations for Understanding Society, University of Essex.

As online panels are rapidly becoming a familiar tool for research, the need to ensure high-quality, representative data collection and analysis is also increasingly clear. The first “Current Innovations in Probability-based Household Internet Panel Research (CIPHER)” conference is organized by the Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) of the University of Southern California and hosted by the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) at the George Washington University on Thursday the 21st of February, 2019. Our keynote speaker was Courtney Kennedy, Director of Survey Research at the Pew Research Center.