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Resources for International Comparative Analysis: The European Social Survey. Caroline Roberts*, Gillian Eva*, Atle Jåstad ~ *Centre for Comparative Social Surveys City University, London ~ NSD, Norway. ESRC Research Methods Festival, St Catherine's College, Oxford, 02 July 2008.

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Resources for International Comparative Analysis:

The European Social Survey

Caroline Roberts*,

Gillian Eva*,

Atle Jåstad~

*Centre for Comparative Social Surveys

City University, London

~NSD, Norway

ESRC Research Methods Festival, St Catherine's College, Oxford, 02 July 2008

about the ess
About the ESS
  • Cross-national biennial time-series
  • Academically-driven
  • Multiple funding sources
  • 18,300 registered data users
three main aims
Three main aims:
  • To produce rigorous trend data about changing social values across Europe
  • To improve the reliability of quantitative cross-national measurement in Europe
  • To advance the cause of social indicators and attitudinal measures
the questionnaire
The Questionnaire

Core question topics:

Trust in institutions

Political engagement

Socio-political values

Multi-level governance

Moral & social values

Social exclusion

National, ethnic, religious identity

Well-being, health, security

rotating modules
Rotating Modules
  • Round 1


Citizenship, engagement and democracy

  • Round 2

Family, work and well-being

Economic morality

Health and care-seeking

  • Round 3

Timing of the life course

Subjective well-being

  • Round 4

Experiences and expressions of ageism

Welfare attitudes in Europe

methodological advances
Methodological Advances
  • Organisational structure
  • Translation
  • Sampling
  • Fieldwork procedures and timing
  • Response targets and enhancements
  • Progress monitoring
  • Contextual and event data
  • Methodological research
  • Transparency
  • Access for all
ess resources
ESS Resources

For background information & documentation:

  • ESS home website:

For ESS data:

  • ESS Data Archive website:

For training in data analysis:

  • ESS EduNet

ess data archive
ESS Data Archive
  • Free & immediate access; quick registration
  • Data & documentation organised by round
    • Survey documentation: including information about sampling, weighting and population statistics
    • Fieldwork documents: questionnaires; showcards, etc.
    • Fieldwork summary: response rates, fieldwork dates, sample size, and national deviations
    • Data download: integrated & country files
    • Contextual data & indices: including macro & event data
  • Cumulative data file now available for rounds 1-3
  • Online-browsing & analysis using ‘Nesstar Webview’
  • ESS Bibliography
  • ESS ‘EduNet’

Other resources: NESSTAR


  • Online browsing and analysis
  • For use with the full ESS datasets or the specially prepared ESS EduNet data
  • Options:

1. Description: of study, datafile, variables, etc.

2. Table: create frequency tables and crosstabs

3. Analysis: perform regression analysis

other resources ess bibliography
Other resources: ESS Bibliography

ESS Bibliography

  • Provides information about publications based on the European Social Survey
  • Can search by author, keyword, year, country, publication type…
  • Authors submit information about their own publication

Other resources: ESS EduNet

  • Internet-based analysis training programme aimed at facilitating and enriching access to empirical data in the social sciences
  • The resource is developed for use in higher education
  • A hands on introduction to social science data analysis
  • Combining theory, data and methodology
  • Connect text (written by distinguished researchers) with data (high quality ESS data)


Social and Political Trust (using ESS round 1 data): Ken Newton 2 theories of the origin of social trust, outlines the relationship between political and social trustHuman Values (using ESS round 1 data): Shalom Schwartz Schwartz’s theory on human values, shows how values can be used as both dependent and independent variablesRegression (using ESS round 2 data): Odd Gåsdal ‘Hands on’ introduction to analysing cross-sectional survey data using linear regression methodsFamily, Gender and Work (using ESS round 2 data): Noah Lewin-Epstein and Haya Stier Different ways in which survey data are used in comparative research, uses these to examine the family-work connection


Topics: chapter navigation

  • Each topic is divided into several chapters
  • Each chapter is again divided into several short pages
  • Each chapter contains exercises of varying degrees of difficulty
  • Chapters take around 1 hour to complete



Statistical Data

  • Extracts from the ESS rounds 1 and 2 and a data set with country level information
  • Available for online analysis in Nesstar WebView (with correlation)
  • Or to download in different formats

Methodological glossary

  • Short description of some key concepts. Each concept is followed by a link to Wikipedia and an online statistical textbook
other resources
Other resources


  • Short description of the ESS project and ESS EduNet

User guide

  • Help pages on technical requirements, NSDstat, weighting, etc.
  • An introduction on how to analyse data online - a useful starting point for those with no experience in statistical analysis
advantages of ess edunet
Advantages of ESS EduNet

Closeness to data

Easy to use

Research practice

any questions

Any Questions?

Thank you!