List of Conferences and Conference Sessions

CONSIRT’s latest event was “Longitudinal Survey Research: Methodological Challenges,” December 15-18, 2015, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences. The conference, “The Present and Future of Longitudinal Cross-sectional and Panel Survey Research” (December 15-16), was the first part of this event. It was followed by the workshop, “Harmonization of Survey and Non-Survey Data” (December 17-18), which discusses possibilities of harmonizing ex-post survey data, also with information from non-survey sources.

  • Abstracts of presentations are here.

Theme of the Event

The common theme of the Warsaw international event is methodological challenges in cross-sectional time series and panel surveys. These types of data have been crucial to generating key insights into the conditions, causes and consequences of social change. Ironically, the very change that social scientists examine – technological, economic, political and cultural – poses serious threats to traditional survey methods. New communication modes, declining response rates worldwide, the spectacular growth of big data from non-survey sources and their increasing popularity in the social sciences, constitute such threats. Survey administrators are forced to re-think their methods, from how to design surveys, contact respondents, and ask questions to how to analyze, store and distribute the data. Threats, however, are accompanied by opportunities. We plan to discuss how advances in both survey methods and communication/computational technologies, combined with the rise of interdisciplinary collaborative scientific teams and laboratories across the social sciences, can aid social science methodology and provide new substantive insights.


“The Present and Future of Longitudinal Cross-sectional and Panel Survey Research”

December 15 – 16, 2015

The purpose of the conference was to engage established scholars, young researchers and graduate students from different countries and disciplines, in discussing the present and future of longitudinal surveys. Day One of the conference features two sessions, the first devoted to international cross-sectional surveys, and the other to panel surveys. Key questions for both sessions include:

A. What are the most troublesome methodological challenges that major longitudinal surveys face now, and in the next ten years? How can these challenges be met, and overcome?

B. To improve data quality, should we standardize survey documentation across international survey projects, beginning with guidelines provided by the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI)? If so, how can this be achieved?

C. What are the invited speakers’ visions of the future of survey methodology – from survey design to data access and storage –for the next wave, and for the next ten years?

Christof Wolf, GESIS, Germany, delivered the Plenary Lecture: “Challenges of Survey Research.” Afterwards is Session One, “Longitudinal Cross-sectional Survey Research,” chaired by Irina Tomescu-Dubrow, CONSIRT and IFiS PAN. The discussant for this session was Christian Welzel, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Germany.

The presenters for Session One were:

Rory Fitzgerald, City University London, UK, “Facing Up to the Challenges and Future of Repeat Cross-sectional, Cross-national Social Surveys. The Synergies for Europe’s Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences Initiative”

Melanie Revilla, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain, “Quality of Survey Data: How to Estimate It and Why It Matters”

Peter Granda, University of Michigan and ICPSR USA, “Survey Data Documentation: The Disjunction between Description and Assessment”

Mitchell Seligson, LAPOP, Vanderbilt University USA, “The AmericasBarometer by LAPOP: Challenges in Cross-National Longitudinal Surveys”

Session Two, Panel Survey Research, was chaired by Irina Tomescu-Dubrow. The discussant was Dean Lillard, The Ohio State University USA.

The presenters for Session Two, “Panel Survey Research” were:

Elizabeth Cooksey, NLSY, The Ohio State University USA, “Methodological Challenges in the US National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth”

Oliver Lipps, FORS, Switzerland, “Methodological Challenges of Panel Surveys Now and in Ten Years – A Swiss Perspective”

Day Two of the conference was, “POLPAN: Preparing for the First 30 Years,” and it focused on Polish Panel Survey, POLPAN 1988 – 2013. POLPAN is the longest running panel survey, conducted on a national representative sample, in the world. A preparation for the 2018 wave just begins. In Session One, Kazimierz M. Slomczynski and Zbigniew Sawinski, who have led POLPAN over the decades, discussed how POLPAN addresses the difficult questions posed on Day One of the conference. Kazimierz M. Slomczynski will be the main presenter of Session Two, “The Future of POLPAN.” The discussant for Session Two was Elizabeth Cooksey.

Afterward, POLPAN researchers presented substantive analyses using POLPAN data, including the 2013 wave. The chair of this session was Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow, CONSIRT and IFiS PAN.

The presenters of this session were:

Malgorzata Mikucka, University of Louvain, Belgium, “What Affects Subjective Evaluation of Health?”

Zbigniew Karpinski, IFiS PAN, and Kinga Wysienska-Di Carlo, Albert Shanker Institute USA, and IFiS PAN, “Applying Survival Analysis to Understand the Motherhood Penalty in a Dynamic Framework”

Anna Kiersztyn, University of Warsaw, Poland, “Over-education in Poland, 1988-2013: Driving Factors and Consequences for Workers”

Workshop, “Harmonization of Survey and Non-Survey Data”

December 17 – 18, 2015

This workshop was devoted to issues of ex-post harmonization of survey data in the context of the Harmonization and Survey Data Recycling projects.

The first day of the workshop focused on harmonization of longitudinal international survey projects. We will discuss the concept of survey data recycling (SDR) as a new way of reprocessing information from extant cross-national projects in ways that minimize the “messiness” of data built into original surveys, that expand the range of possible comparisons over time and across countries, and that improve confidence in substantive results. The workshop highlighted various steps of SDR via examples of substantive target variables that we created using information from well-known international survey projects (e.g. WVS, ISSP, ESS, various regional barometers). For more information about the project, see CONSIRT’s Harmonization: Newsletter on Survey Data Harmonization in the Social Sciences.

Kazimierz M. Slomczynski and Irina Tomescu-Dubrow started the session with an overview of the Harmonization Project. Afterwards were two Round-table Discussions. The topic of the first was, “Presenting, Storing and Accessing Information on Source Variables.” The topic of the second was, “Quality of Data and Harmonization Processes.” The discussion leaders for both round-tables are Dean Lillard, The Ohio State University, USA, Christof Wolf, GESIS, Peter Granda, University of Michigan and ICPSR, USA, Mitchell Seligson, LAPOP, Vanderbilt University, USA and Markus Quandt, GESIS.

The second day of the workshop discussed the possibilities of harmonizing longitudinal survey data with the East European Parliamentarian and Candidate data (EAST PaC), with a focus on women’s political inequality. EAST PaC consists of all candidates who stood for national parliamentary elections in Poland, Hungary and Ukraine from the 1990s to the 2010s. Candidates are matched over time; this renders a dataset that allows researchers to track the political careers of every candidate, from the thousands who never won to the few political lifers whose parliamentary careers span decades. Joshua K. Dubrow presented an overview of the Electoral Control project and the uses of EAST PaC data. We discussed opportunities of using these data in POLPAN and other surveys.

We then engaged in an extended discussion on improving our knowledge, via survey data and non-survey data sources, on gender and values worldwide. The leaders of this discussion were Amy C. Alexander, Quality of Government Institute SwedenCatherine Bolzendahl, University of California-Irvine USA, and Tiffany Barnes, University of Kentucky, USA.


Interdisciplinary Studies of Political Behavior and the Use of ‘Big Data’, May 6-9, 2014, OSU Main Campus, Columbus OH

The Polish Panel Survey POLPAN 1988-2013: A Cross-National Perspective, March 19, 2014, Warsaw, Poland

Nationalism and Conflict: Interdisciplinary Methodological Approaches, December 10 – 15, 2012, Warsaw, Poland.

Contribution of Area Studies to the Knowledge of Ethnic Tensions: Interdisciplinary Methodological Approaches, December 14 – 16, 2009, Warsaw, Poland

Sociological Surveys of Public Opinion in Central and Eastern Europe: Cross-National Comparative Studies, July 3 – 5, 2008, Warsaw, Poland

Sociological Surveys of Public Opinion in Southeastern Europe: Cross-National Comparative Studies, August 31 – September 2, 2007, Cluj-Napoca, Romania


Psychological Functioning and Social Inequality, July 13-19, 2014, Yokohama, Japan for the World Congress of the ISA, Research Committee (RC) 28 on Social Stratification and Mobility

Democracy and Inequality across the World, July 13-19, 2014, Yokohama, Japan for the World Congress of the ISA, Research Committee (RC) 18 on Political Sociology

Social Change: Inequalities in Political Participation, July 13-19, 2014, Yokohama, Japan for the World Congress of the ISA, Research Committee (RC) 9 on Social Transformations and the Sociology of Development

Political Inequality and Social Change Outside of the West, July 13-19, 2014, Yokohama, Japan for the World Congress of the ISA, Research Committee (RC) 9 on Social Transformations and the Sociology of Development

Political Inequality Outside the West, Part I and Part II, August 1-4, 2012 Buenos Aires, Argentina for the 2nd Forum of the International Sociological Association

Age of Democracy, Age of Inequality, Part I and Part II, August 1-4, 2012 Buenos Aires, Argentina for the 2nd Forum of the International Sociological Association

Trust, Politics and Institutions in Comparative Perspective, May 31-June 2, 2012, Bucharest, Romania for the International Conference of the Romanian Sociological Society

Politics, Institutions and Discrimination across the Post-Communist World: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, July 15-18, 2012 Warsaw, Poland for the Warsaw East European Conference (WEEC) at the University of Warsaw

Assessing the Democratic Divide between Eastern and Western Europe, February 16 – 19, 2011, Sao Paulo, Brazil for the International Political Sci Assoc (IPSA) / European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR)

Post-Soviet or Post-Communist? Dynamic Dimensions of the Democratic Divide, July 15-18, 2011, Warsaw, Poland for the Warsaw East European Conference (WEEC) at the University of Warsaw

The Cost of Radical Social Change: Enduring Inequalities in Central and Eastern Europe April 15 – 17, 2010, Columbus, Ohio, USA for the OSU Center for Slavic and East European Studies Midwest Slavic Conference

Inequalities, Old and New: Romania in Cross-National Perspective, December 2 – 4, 2010, Cluj-Napoca, for the Romanian Sociological Society International Conference

Political Inequality in Cross-National Perspective, Part I and Part II, July 11 – 17, 2010, Gothenburg, Sweden for the World Congress of International Soc Association (ISA)

Comparative Sociology and Area Studies: How Can Sociology Gain From the Inter- disciplinary Knowledge on the World Regions? June 11 – June 14, 2009, Yerevan, Armenia for the World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology (IIS)

Causal Analysis Using Multi-Wave Panel Data: Problems and Solutions, June 29 – July 3, 2009, Warsaw, for the European Survey Research Association (ESRA) conference

Public Opinion Surveys in East Central Europe: Studies in Political Sociology July 15 – 18, 2008, Warsaw for the Warsaw East European Conference (WEEC) at the University of Warsaw

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