ACSPRI Conferences, RC33 Eighth International Conference on Social Science Methodology

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The Development of Guidelines: Towards Best Practice in Cross-National Data Collection

Beth-Ellen Pennell, Kirsten Alcser, Janet Harkness

Building: Law Building
Room: Breakout 1 - Law Building, Room 024
Date: 2012-07-12 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Last modified: 2011-12-16


The number and scope of studies covering many cultures, languages, nations, or regions have increased significantly over the past decade. This has led to a growing need to provide information on best practices across the multiple aspects of cross-cultural survey design and implementation to ensure the collection of high-quality comparative data. However, there is very little published material on the details of implementing surveys that are specifically designed for comparative research, including what aspects are to be standardized and when local adaptation is appropriate. The Cross-Cultural Survey Design and Implementation (CSDI) guidelines initiative was created to address this gap. Specifically, the aim of the initiative was to develop and promote internationally recognized guidelines that highlight best practice for the conduct of comparative survey research across cultures and countries. The intended audience for the guidelines includes researchers and survey practitioners planning or engaged in cross-cultural or cross-national research.

The guidelines cover all aspects of the survey life-cycle and include the following chapters: (1) Study Structure; (2) Survey Quality; (3) Ethical Considerations; (4) Tenders, Bids and Contracts; (5) Sample Design; (6) Questionnaire Design; (7) Adaptation; (8) Translation; (9) Instrument Technical Design; (10) Interviewer Recruitment and Training; (11) Pretesting; (12) Data Collection; (13) Data Harmonization; (14) Data Processing; and (15) Data Dissemination. The guidelines can be found at