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Call for Sessions

The 11th Conference of the European Survey Research Association (ESRA) will take place from 14th July to 18th July 2025. The conference will be hosted by Utrecht University in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

The conference theme is “Promises and problems of new and alternative data sources and data formats for survey research. Methodological challenges and substantive conclusions”.

Survey researchers, data users, and statistical agencies find themselves navigating through innovation in a new era of survey research where new data sources and data formats (e.g., transactions, mobile phones, social media, satellite data, sensor data, geo data, GPS tracking) arise at a high-speed due to technological advances. In addition, there is growing demand for timely, detailed, as well as cost-effective data. However, the quality of these new forms of data is not always easy to assess, hence, the survey community is facing important issues to address.

On the one hand, the benefits of these type of data are that they can be generated quickly, even daily, from a high number of diverse sources, enabling researchers, statistical agencies, and users to meet the widespread demand for more timely data. On the other hand, there are multifaceted challenges, encompassing technical as well as conceptual aspects. The technical aspects involve deal with the large volume of data but also the unstructured and secondary nature of the data, and, in most of cases, an unknown data collection plan. This results into problems related to data quality, such as coverage and generalizability barriers. The conceptual aspects are related, for example, to the question of whether these data can bring added value for answering substantive and theory-driven research questions.

The conference will promote and spread the multifaceted connection between new data sources, formats, and tools as well as substantive applications in survey research covering emerging topics in this new survey era.

Therefore, the ESRA Conference Scientific Committee is now inviting researchers with a variety of backgrounds, including academic research, official statistics, commercial research, and government social research, who are active in the field of survey research, survey methodology, social data science, and data analysis to submit proposals for sessions.

Session abstracts (max. 300 words) can be submitted via the ESRA conference management system by 1st September 2024:

The following are examples of topics that are of particular interest. Session proposals should broadly cover these areas:

Survey methodology and Survey Practice

  • Questionnaire development, testing and piloting; measurement issues
  • Online survey methods and surveys on mobile devices
  • Mixing modes and mode effects
  • Fieldwork processes, including responsive and adaptive designs
  • Innovations and emerging methods: life-tracking and sensor data; blue-tooth and near field technology; web scraping for data collection
  • Citizen Science
  • Smart surveys
  • Collecting biomarkers and other specimen data within surveys
  • Analysing, monitoring and reducing Total Survey Error; using paradata to evaluate survey quality
  • Interviewers and interviewer effects
  • Methods for cross-national and cross-cultural surveys
  • Experiments in general population surveys
  • Data management, survey data processing

Survey Statistics                                                                               

  • Innovative sampling procedures including methods designed to reach hard-to-reach populations
  • Spatial sampling and use of remote sensing data
  • Missing data imputation
  • Weighting in presence of non-probability and probability sampling
  • Survey calibration
  • Small area estimation under non-probability and probability sampling
  • Data integration methods (statistical matching and record linkage) with a particular focus on how to integrate new forms of data to traditional data sources
  • How new forms of data can be used for population-size estimation
  • More on post-survey processing such coding and editing; related errors and how to take these into account
  • AI, machine learning, application of computational methods in survey research

Data documentation, archiving and data access

  • Privacy and confidentiality; consent
  • Data security and access
  • Survey data harmonization

Longitudinal analysis techniques

  • Repeated cross-section data collection and analysis methods
  • Panel data collection and analysis methods

Substantive applications of survey research around the social and behavioural sciences are also welcome.