ESMira: A decentralized open-source application for collecting experience sampling data

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper introduces ESMira, a server and mobile app (Android, iOS) developed for research projects using experience sampling method (ESM) designs. ESMira offers a very simple setup process and ease of use, while being free, decentralized, and open-source (source code is available on GitHub). The ongoing development of ESMira started in early 2019, with a focus on scientific requirements (e.g., informed consent, ethical considerations), data security (e.g., encryption), and data anonymity (e.g., completely anonymous data workflow). ESMira sets itself apart from other platforms by both being free of charge and providing study administrators with full control over study data without the need for specific technological skills (e.g., programming). This means that study administrators can have ESMira running on their own webspace without needing much technical knowledge, allowing them to remain independent from any third-party service. Furthermore, ESMira offers an extensive list of features (e.g., an anonymous built-in chat to contact participants; a reward system that allows participant incentivization without breaching anonymity; live graphical feedback for participants) and can deal with complex study designs (e.g., nested time-based sampling). In this paper, we illustrate the basic structure of ESMira, explain how to set up a new server and create studies, and introduce the platform's basic functionalities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Early online date21 Aug 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Aug 2023


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