ESRA 2017 Programme

Tuesday 18th July      Wednesday 19th July      Thursday 20th July      Friday 21th July     

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Tuesday 18th July, 11:00 - 12:30 Room: N 101

Overview of open access European survey data 2

Chair Dr Annette Scherpenzeel (SHARE – Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe )
Coordinator 1Ms Sabine Friedel (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging, Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy)

Session Details

In recent years, many large sets of survey data have been made available to the scientific community. Large national and European surveys, such as ESS, SHARE, SOEP, Understanding Society, etc., disseminate their data to registered users. For researchers it can be difficult to get a good overview of what is offered and to find the specific variables and samples of their interest.

This session aims to give researchers more insight into the variety of variables available in large survey datasets. For that purpose, we invite survey practitioners to present their data sets, longitudinal as well as cross-sectional, to potential users. Presentations should address the following survey characteristics: Research field, target population and sample, survey design, data access regulations, available survey variables and paradata, linked administrative data (if applicable), and some examples of data use. Moreover, we especially welcome overviews including information which can be used for methodological analysis, such as key stroke data, auxiliary information, interviewer characteristics and observations, response behavior, experimental designs, etc.

Paper Details

1. Free data! An overview of and how to access data from the true probability based LISS panel
Mr Joris Mulder (CentERdata, Tilburg University)

In 2006, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) awarded a grant to the research institute CentERdata for the MESS project: an advanced facility for Measurement and Experimentation in the Social Sciences. The LISS panel is the core element of this project.

The LISS panel consists of 5000 households, comprising 8000 individuals. The panel is based on a true probability sample of households drawn from the population register by Statistics Netherlands. Households that could not otherwise participate are provided with a computer and Internet connection. The project is strongly geared to integrating different academic disciplines and developing and testing new, innovative research techniques.
The panel has been in full operation since October 2007, and all data collected since then are available on the website Longitudinal surveys are fielded in the panel every year since 2007, consisting of a large number of questions and variables concerning themes such as work, education, income, political views, values and personality. After signing a statement concerning the use of the data, academic researchers can download the data directly, to be used at no cost. The LISS panel can furthermore be used to collect one's own data.

In this presentation we will present several longitudinal and innovative studies which were administered in the LISS panel. Also, we will discuss how to obtain these data and we show examples of how these data have already been used in the past. Furthermore, we discuss the use of available paradata and linked administrative data which are also available in the LISS Data Archive.

2. Using data from ELIPSS, the French probability based internet panel
Ms Anne Cornilleau (Sciences Po - CDSP)
Ms Anne-Sophie Cousteaux (Sciences Po - CDSP)

The ELIPSS Panel (Étude longitudinale par internet pour les sciences sociales) is one of the probability-based web panels across Europe. Panel members were randomly selected by the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE). Each of them is provided with a touchscreen tablet and a mobile Internet subscription. Thus, they can participate in monthly surveys even if they did not have internet access before. The ELIPSS panel now encompasses 3250 individuals aged between 18 and 79 and living in metropolitan France.

The surveys administered to the panel members are developed by research teams. Therefore, the covered topics depend on the projects submitted by researchers and selected by the scientific and technical board. During the pilot study (consisting in 1000 panel members), we conducted more than 40 surveys, longitudinal or cross-sectional, on various topics: cultural practices and lifestyles, political attitudes and behaviours, family relations, health problems, social stratification, environmental issues, residential strategies, geographical mobility over the lifecourse, attitudes and representations toward the State, eating behaviour and kitchen storage and organisation… We also conduct the ELIPSS annual survey to collect and update sociodemographics and to measure digital practices. Thanks to the panel management procedures we have developed, the response rate is usually upper than 80% while the attrition rate is moderate (less than 25% in 40 months).

After one-year embargo, data collected within the ELIPSS panel can be used by French and foreign researchers, PhD students, post-doctoral fellows and Master students to conduct secondary research. The datafiles of the ELIPSS panel are freely accessible for research or teaching purposes. All commercial use is prohibited. To access the ELIPSS standard files, researchers, teachers and students need to complete and sign a data use agreement. It is also possible to match data from several surveys to combine different topics that are rarely surveyed together. In this case, the data matching request is strictly monitored. The research project submitted in order to access the custom file has to set out the research questions and hypotheses, to list which variables seem necessary for the research and present how data will be statistically analysed. In addition, it could be reviewed by a legal expert if the request causes confidentiality issues or focuses on sensitive questions such as politics, religion, health...

The next step of the data dissemination is to give access to paradata which are collected during the survey completion by respondents. Besides the systematic collection of timestamps, specific projects lead us to gather other types of paradata such as the orientation of the tablet or the display of probing message when skipping questions.

This paper will present the research field, the sample, the survey design and the available data of a new French data source for social scientists.

3. GESIS Panel - a probability-based mixed-mode access panel
Mr David Bretschi (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)

The GESIS Panel is a probability-based access panel infrastructure offering the social science community an opportunity to collect and to use high quality survey data free of charge. The sample encompasses the German speaking population aged between 18 and 70 years (at the time of recruitment) and permanently residing in Germany. Currently the GESIS Panel includes about 5300 panelists from two register-based random samples: around 3600 panelists from the initial recruitment in 2013 and about 1700 panelists from a refreshment sample in 2016.

The survey waves take place on a bi-monthly basis, each taking about 20 minutes and split up into two self-administered survey modes: 65% of the panelists participate online (Web-based surveys), 35% of the panelists attend the surveys by mail. Each panel wave consists of two major parts: About fifteen minutes of the survey time is available for studies submitted by primary researchers. The second part of each panel wave (about five minutes of interviewing time) is reserved for longitudinal core study topics developed by GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Science.

Researchers from various social sciences fields such as sociologists, psychologists, political scientists, and economists can submit a general proposal for single-wave studies as well as multiple-wave studies (multiple cross-sectional designs and panel designs). Studies submitted by primary researchers undergo a peer-review process before fielding. Additionally, the GESIS Panel offers a Fast-Track procedure which enables researchers to submit a short proposal on current issues in society.

The dataset of the GESIS Panel includes over 4700 variables on various topics of the social sciences. In addition, the dataset encompasses information from the GESIS Panel Logitudinal Core studies, which comprises two topic fields. First, the Core studies measure frequently demanded characteristics beyond demographics, such as personality and human values, political behavior, well-being and quality-of-life. A second aim of the Core studies is to assess and to control for data quality (i.e., different sources of survey error) by measuring concepts such as survey participation evaluations, survey mode habits and preferences. Finally, the GESIS Panel dataset offers a wide range of paradata, particularly for the online mode (e.g., relative time stamps, page loads, number of blur events). The scientific use file of the GESIS Panel is accessible for the academic social science community via the GESIS Data Archive.