Seven experts on personality measurement here discuss the viability of public-domain personality measures, focusing on the International Personality Item Pool (IPIP) as a prototype. Since its inception in 1996, the use of items and scales from the IPIP has increased dramatically. Items from the IPIP have been translated from English into more than 25 other languages. Currently over 80 publications using IPIP scales are listed at the IPIP Web site (http://ipip.ori.org), and the rate of IPIP-related publications has been increasing rapidly. The growing popularity of the IPIP can be attributed to five factors: (1) It is cost free; (2) its items can be obtained instantaneously via the Internet; (3) it includes over 2000 items, all easily available for inspection; (4) scoring keys for IPIP scales are provided; and (5) its items can be presented in any order, interspersed with other items, reworded, translated into other languages, and administered on the World Wide Web without asking permission of anyone. The unrestricted availability of the IPIP raises concerns about possible misuse by unqualified persons, and the freedom of researchers to use the IPIP in idiosyncratic ways raises the possibility of fragmentation rather than scientific unification in personality research.
- Public-domain personality measures