Abstract We have applied the generalized collective model to the description of electron scattering data for several nuclei. Three examples, namely 114Cd, and 24Mg are discussed explicitly. The theory is based on a quadrupole-type vibration of the nuclear surface which is governed by a collective Hamiltonian. The radial dependence of the nuclear surface has been assumed to be a two-parameter Fermi distribution. The model provides a reasonable description of both spectra and inelastic electron scattering.