Thank you for contributing to our collection!

We are interested in stories from personal experience that have been repeatedly told by an original storyteller. Many of them have become "legendary": they have been shared, told, and retold in families and among friends.

We are collecting such stories!

In what follows, you are "the interviewer", and you will motivate your partner, "the reteller", to tell the target story.

This questionnaire is meant to guide you through the process of recording with people who participate in these small networks of shared stories.

If you contribute to our collection, it would be favorable if you have a personal relationship with the people you are interviewing. The conversation should be natural, and not an inquisition! 

You could prompt the stories you want to record, e.g.: "do you remember uncle ... telling us about the time ...?".

You can do the recording firstly and then fill in the questionnaire together with your interview partner.

The story should be told at least once. If the storyteller is enthusiastic, you could encourage the story to be recounted once again.

Then fill in the questionnaire, and upload the files.

For the purpose of this collection, we would appreciate the collection of some personal information on the reteller, as indicated in the questionnaire, and on the person who first told it, "the storyteller". If some information is unavailable, complete the questionnaire to the best of your ability.

These are possible prompts to elicit the story:

"We are building a collection of "second hand stories": in many families, or among friends, stories are shared and then told not only by the person who experienced it first hand, but also retold by others. 

Would you share such a story with us?"

                     or, if you picked a "target story":

"Do you remember uncle X telling his story about Y? Could you tell me that story?"

Please start the recording now!

Please read aloud from this point onwards, or explain in your own words.

You can use the following online form or a written consent form. For the latter, please copy the link into your browser and print the form. Please send the signed form to the research team ( or use the upload link below.

You are hereby invited to participate in a research study titled “Second Hand Stories”. This study is being carried out by the LangAge corpora team, University of Potsdam. You were selected to participate in this study because you are an excellent storyteller!

The purpose of this research study is to collect stories from personal experience, which are shared and retold in families and among friends. If you agree to take part in this study, you will be asked to answer the questions of an online questionnaire, and to be recorded while doing so. This questionnaire will ask about the origin of your story or stories and some general personal information. It will take you approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Although you may not directly benefit from this research, we hope that your participation in the study may improve our understanding of the social value of storytelling. Even if it’s one of those stories told over and over again: it has its secret formula!

We believe there are no known risks associated with this research study; however, as with any online related activity the risk of a breach of confidentiality is always possible. To the best of our ability your answers in this study will remain confidential. We will minimize any risks by anonymizing personal information in textual data and audio recordings.

Your participation in this study is completely voluntary and you can withdraw at any time. You are free to skip any question that you choose.

If you have questions about this project or if you have a research-related problem, you may contact the interviewer. If you have any questions concerning your rights as a research subject, you may contact the research team under

By clicking “I agree” below you are indicating that you are at least 18 years old, have read and understood this consent form and agree to participate in this research study. We will analyze your data in an anonymized form.

1. Can we publish the transcript of your story/stories, in an anonymized form?

2. Can we publish the recording of the story online, in an anonymized form?

3. Contact information

(not mandatory)
(not mandatory)
(not mandatory)

4. If you prefer, you can upload the written consent form here.

Please upload here.