Cross-national comparative research: Longitudinal analysis of panel data

Our latest training course was held on 18-19 February 2019 at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. The course introduced participants to panel data sources for cross-national comparative research. Participants were offered hands-on experience working with some of the world’s most powerful panel data: the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS), the German Socio-economic Panel Study (SOEP) and a cross-nationally harmonised data set of panel studies from around the world (CNEF).

Course participants were taught about the steps involved in undertaking analysis of this type of data. This covered conceptual bases and basic data management and modelling techniques. The course was modelled on the success of the “Introduction to Understanding Society using Stata” training course, developed by Dr Knies and colleagues at ISER University of Essex.

This course was aimed at new users of panel data and those who had previously only made use of simpler aspects of the data such as single-country analyses. It guided participants through the complexities of using this data for cross-national and longitudinal analysis and ensures that they can now make effective use of the data for their own research projects.

Measurement quality and correction for measurement error

The third SERISS training course – Measurement quality and correction for measurement error – took place at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia on 26-27 February 2018. The course discuss issues related to measurement error in survey research and consequences for the results of the research. It offered different methods to estimate and predict measurement error and explained how this information can be used for the improvement of survey questions before data collection, and for the correction for measurement error in data analysis.

Course participants were trained in how to understand what measurement error is and how it can affect substantive conclusions;how measurement error can be estimated and predicted; and how corrections for it can be made in regression and structural regression models with single and multiple indicators and sum scores using R. The training session was delivered by Diana Zavala-Rojas and Wiebke Weber of the Research and Expertise Centre for Survey Methodology (RECSM), Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain.

Sampling, weighting and estimation in survey methodology

The Sampling, Weighting and Estimation in Survey Methodology training course took place on 24-25 April 2017 at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. It covered three interrelated topics: methods of selecting complex samples, creation of analysis weights that adjust for nonresponse and undercoverage and the analysis of data collected via complex weighted surveys.

It began with an introduction to the framework for design based inference and basic sampling designs. Common features of sampling designs such as stratification, sampling of clusters and multi-stage sampling were discussed. For each method, students learnt the relevant formulas for point estimates and variance estimates; however, the course emphasized application over theoretical proofs of the formulas.

The second day focused on estimation based on survey samples and inference. Furthermore, students were taught how complex designs and estimators alter the ways in which survey data should be analyzed. The course was instructed by Stefan Zins and Matthias Sand (Leibniz Institute for the Social Science – GESIS).

Designing questionnaires for cross-cultural surveys

The first SERISS training course took place on 24-25 October 2016 at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. The course – Designing questionnaires for cross-cultural surveys – was instructed by Ana Villar (City, University of London) and Dorothée Behr (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Mannheim). You can find out more about the course and instructors by reading the SERISS 2016 Course Description.

25 participants interested in in the impact of linguistic and cultural aspects on cross-cultural survey research attended the course. Those participants were taught to:

  • be familiar with different approaches to organisation and implementation of cross-cultural questionnaire design;
  • be familiar with different pre-testing techniques available for cross-cultural contexts;
  • be familiar with aspects to take into account when producing questionnaire translations;
  • be familiar with best practice in carrying out questionnaire translation and assessment;
  • be able to better account for the needs of cross-cultural questionnaire design and translation in project proposals.

All attendees were awarded a certificate for completing the course.