SEMA (Smartphone Ecological Momentary Assessment) is a suite of software for intensive longitudinal survey research using iOS and Android smartphones. Primarily designed for Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA), also known as the Experience Sampling Method (ESM), SEMA3 has the flexibility to deliver smartphone surveys at fixed or random intervals ranging from minutes to months, as well as allowing participant-triggered surveys (a.k.a. event-contingent sampling). SEMA3 offers researchers a variety of advanced survey design and scheduling features, and the free iOS and Android smartphone applications are designed to give participants an outstanding user-experience.

SEMA was originally developed in 2013. and substantially updated (SEMA2) in 2015 by researchers at Australian Catholic University and Orygen-The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, in collaboration with Boosted Human.

Since 2015, SEMA2 has been used by researchers around the world (Australia, USA, Canada) to study a range of processes in daily life, including emotional functioning in healthy and clinical populations, social interactions and personality, and cognitive performance.

SEMA3 builds on the extensive experience gained over the past 5 years, providing an enhanced EMA research platform with advanced survey features, greater flexibility in survey and schedule design, and intuitive design. SEMA3 was designed by researchers at The University of Melbourne, Australian Catholic University and Orygen – The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health and is developed and maintained by the Melbourne eResearch Group.

Research Team

Dr. Peter Koval, University of Melbourne

Dr. Peter Koval is a Lecturer and ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award recipient at the University of Melbourne. His research lies at the intersection of social, personality, and clinical psychology with a focus on emotional processes. A major focus of his work uses ecological momentary assessment to capture individual differences in emotional functioning in daily life. These methods assess how people differ in their experience and regulation of emotions and how these processes relate to well-being and psychopathology.

Prof. Mario Alvarez-Jimenez, Orygen – National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health

Professor Mario Alvarez-Jimenez is Director, eOrygen. Mario has pioneered the use of online social media to foster long-term recovery in youth mental health. His research focus is on relapse prevention and psychosocial recovery in youth mental health through online social media, mobile-based interventions and new models of positive psychotherapy.

Prof. John Gleeson, Australian Catholic University

John Gleeson is Professor and Head of the School of Psychology at the Australian Catholic University. John is a clinical psychologist with 20 years experience in severe mental health problems. His research interests include psychological treatments in youth with psychosis, the use of moderated on-line social interventions for youth with mental health problems, and experience sampling methods in the understanding of anxiety and mood problems.


Prof. Richard Sinnott, Melbourne eResearch Group

Professor Richard O. Sinnott is the Director of eResearch at the University of Melbourne and Professor of Applied Computing Systems. In these roles he is responsible for all aspects of eResearch (research-oriented IT development) at the University. He has been lead software engineer/architect on an extensive portfolio of national and international projects, with specific focus on those research domains requiring finer-grained access control (security).

Boosted Human

Boosted Human is a dynamic software consultancy based in Melbourne, Australia.

Open Source

SEMA3 was designed to be open source software and will soon be available on GitHub.

Referencing SEMA3

To cite SEMA3, please use the following reference:

O’Brien, S. T., Dozo, N., Hinton, J. D. X., Moeck, E., Susanto, R., Jayaputera, G., … Koval, P. (2023). SEMA3: A Free Smartphone Platform for Daily Life Surveys. PsxArXiv.