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ESRA 2023 sessions by theme

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Adapting survey mode in a changing survey landscape: Experiences from repeat cross-national, cross-sectional, and general social surveys

Coordinator 1Ms Siobhan O'Muircheartaigh (European Social Survey ERIC (City, University of London))
Coordinator 2Mr Tim Hanson (European Social Survey ERIC (City, University of London))
Coordinator 3Dr Oshrat Hochman (GESIS)
Coordinator 4Dr Rene Bautista (NORC at the University of Chicago)
Coordinator 5Professor Rory Fitzgerald (European Social Survey ERIC (City, University of London))

Session Details

Studies to measure attitudes, opinions and behaviours have been and remain critical to understanding societies around the world. In the face of the COVID19 pandemic and changing trends in the interviewer workforce, many repeat cross-sectional social surveys have been experimenting with self-completion and mixed-mode approaches. The European Social Survey (launched in 2001) and United States’ General Social Survey (launched in 1972) are key examples of long-standing studies that collect data to inform research on changes over time, and are now exploring new modes for the future. This session brings together ESS, GSS, and other cross-sectional social surveys to share experiences in survey mode transition.
The session's aims are threefold: (1) Share strategies and lessons-learned from recent mode experiments by ESS, GSS, and other studies, and potential ways to improve methods in future. (2) Highlight how different cross-sectional studies have modified survey protocols in recent years to adapt to changing conditions in the public (e.g., public health crisis, shifting communication modes, public’s willingness to respond to surveys, trends in interviewer workforce). (3) Provide a space for data creators, data users, and survey practitioners to discuss methodological and statistical challenges for cross-sectional studies considering such a move.
We invite submissions from those involved in transitioning repeat, cross-sectional, and cross-national social surveys to new data collection approaches. Topics of interest include: results from pilots or feasibility studies based on self-completion or mixed-mode approaches; findings from experimental research testing aspects of self-completion/mixed-mode designs (e.g., incentive and mailing strategies, survey length adaptations, sequential vs. concurrent designs); impacts of mode switches on measurement and survey time series; and discussions of experiences and challenges associated with adapting cross-sectional surveys to new modes across different cultural/national contexts.