ESRA logo

Minutes from the General Assembly, Online 2021

ESRA General Assembly, Friday 9th July 2021, 11.00
Online Meeting (Zoom)

  1. Minutes of the 2019 General Assembly
    Minutes of the previous General Assembly held in Zagreb were approved.
  2. Report from the President (Caroline Roberts)
    President Caroline Roberts reported to the Assembly the activities carried out by the board. In particular, she underlined the steps undertaken in the professionalisation of ESRA, including the search for professional admistrative support, and the constitution of sub-committees to take care of ESRA communication, and GDPR matters. The President also explained changes in board members’ responsibilities due to position left vacant during the term. Following Alex Cernaut’s resignation as Conference Chair and Board member (confirmed in the Board meeting of 4th September 2020), the conference vice-chair Vera Toepoel took on the role of Conference Chair, and Vera Lomazzi substituted Vera Toepoel as Conference vice-chair. Kathrin Thomas, responsible for ESRA communication, resigned from the Board on 15 February.
  3. Amendments to the Constitution and bye-laws
    To allow remote election procedures, amendments to the Constitution have been made and bye-laws, approved by the Board on  5th February 2021, have been communicated to the members. Members were required to vote on recommended amendments to the ESRA Constitution (its governing document), asking them to approve five amendments which have been made available on the ESRA website. The byes-laws have been approved by the members via electronic vote (Qualtrics platform).
  4. Report from the Treasurer (Emily Gilbert)
    The Treasurer, Emily Gilbert, provided an overview of ESRA’s income and expenditure. The ESRA bank account currently holds £ 255,921 but there are still some costs from the ESRA 2021 conference that need to be paid. The annual accounts have been timely submitted to Charity House and can be found on the ESRA website.
  5. Report from the editor of Survey Research Methods (Ulrich Kohler)
    Survey Research Methods (SRM) is ESRA’s peer reviewed open access journal. There are 3 issues per year, and 5/6 papers per issue. It is indexed by Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ). There is a new website for the journal which provides a more flexible workflow, and its practices are GDPR-compliant. The number of readers has increased year on year, with more than 3000 readers registered in 2021. The impact factor of the journal increased up to 2.8. Two special issues were published in 2020: “Survey Research Methods During the COVID-19 Crisis”, and “Measurement Equivalence: Testing for it and explaining why It is Absent”. A third one is currently ongoing “Recent Methodological Advances in Panel Data Collection, Analysis, and Application”. SRM as signed the “Transparancy and Openess Promotion Guidelines” of the “Center for Open Science”. SRM is now using the Creative Commons licenseAttribution-Non-Commercial International 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0).
  6. Presentation of the award for the Best Paper in SRM (Stephanie Steinmetz)
    The 2021 awarded paper is written by Caroline Vandenplas, Koen Beullens, and Geert Loosveldt (2019). Linking Interview Speed and Interviewer Effects on Target Variables in Face-to-Face Surveys. Survey Research Methods, 13(3), 249-265.
  7. Elections to the ESRA Committee
    In line with the Constitution and the approved by-laws, the deadline for nomination submissions was Friday 2nd April 2021. Given there was not a sufficient number of candidates to allow voters to choose between them, members were asked to vote to approve the appointment of the nominated persons. The remote vote was carried out using the Qualtrics platform. The ESRA21 Conference took place on the four Fridays of July 2021. The electronic vote was open on Friday 2nd July (first day of the conference) to Friday 9th July (day of the General Assembly).
    • 7.1. Four existing committee members are standing down:
      • Caroline Roberts,
      • Annette Scherpenzeel,
      • Gabriele Durrant and
      • Stephanie Eckman.
    • 7.2. Eight new members were put to the vote:
      • Alessandra Gaia,
      • Daniel Seddig,
      • Olga Maslovskaya,
      • Alex Wenz,
      • Daniil Lebedev,
      • Rory Fitzgerald,
      • Michael Bergmann and
      • Rene Bautista.
    • 7.3. Candidates for the roles of President, Vice President, Conference Chair and Vice Conference Chair were also put to the vote:
      • Vera Toepoel for President,
      • Marieke Haan for Vice President,
      • Vera Lomazzi for Conference Chair and
      • Daniel Seddig for Vice Conference Chair.
    • All officers were elected unopposed.
  8. Any other business
    Caroline Roberts thanks the Committee and the Conference Organizing Committee for the work done despite the circumnstances given by the pandemic.
    The next ESRA Conference will take place in Milan, venues already selected in 2019 for ESRA21, that was instead held online because of the pandemic.