Updated Cross-Cultural Survey Guidelines

January 30, 2017

First published in 2008, the Cross-Cultural Survey Guidelines have recently undergone a significant update and expansion. The guidelines provide information on best practices for the conduct of comparative survey research across cultures and countries.

The new edition includes over 800 pages of content with major updates and the expansion of all existing chapters, as well as the addition of new chapters on study design, study management, paradata, and statistical analysis. The guidelines cover all aspects of the survey life cycle and include the following chapters: Study Design and Organizational Structure; Study Management; Tenders, Bids and Contracts; Sample Design; Questionnaire Design; Adaptation; Translation; Instrument Technical Design; Interviewer Recruitment, Selection, and Training; Pretesting; Data Collection; Paradata and Other Auxiliary Data; Data Harmonization; Data Processing and Statistical Adjustment; Data Dissemination; Survey Quality and Ethical Considerations.

The guidelines are the product of an initiative of the International Workshop on Comparative Survey Design and Implementation. The initiative is led by the ISR Survey Research Center and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Survey Research and Methodology Program. The guidelines were developed to address gaps in the existing literature on the details of implementing surveys that are specifically designed for comparative research, including what aspects should be standardized and when local adaptation is appropriate. The intended audience for the guidelines includes researchers and survey practitioners planning or engaged in what are increasingly referred to as multinational, multiregional, or multicultural (3MC) surveys, although much of the material is also relevant for single country surveys.

More than 70 professionals from 35 organizations contributed to this effort. Tom W. Smith of NORC at the University of Chicago was the senior editor. For a complete list of contributors visit here.

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