Data Collection Quality Assurance in Cross-National Surveys: The Example of the ESS

Achim Koch, Annelies G. Blom, Ineke Stoop, Joost Kappelhof


The significance of cross-national surveys for the social sciences has increased over the past decades and with it the number of cross-national datasets that researchers have access to. Cross-national surveys are typically large enterprises that demand dedicated efforts to coordinate the process of data collection in the participating countries. While cross-national surveys have addressed many important methodological problems, such as translation and the cultural applicability of concepts, the management of the data collection process has yet had little place in cross-national survey methodology. This paper describes the quality standards for data collection and their monitoring in the European Social Survey (ESS). In the ESS data are collected via face-to-face interviewing. In each country a different survey organisation carries out the data collection. Assuring the quality across the large number of survey organisations is a complex but indispensable task to achieve valid and comparable data.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Achim Koch, Annelies G. Blom, Ineke Stoop, Joost Kappelhof

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