The ESS Survey Specifications (officially called the Survey Specification for ESS ERIC Member, Observer and Guest countries) describe the tasks and responsibilities with regard to conducting the European Social Survey. The specifications are adapted before every ESS Round.
The Specifications reflect the main objectives of the ESS:
- assembling, interpreting and disseminating via the European Social Survey or otherwise rigorous data on Europe’s social condition, including the shifting attitudes, values, perceptions and behaviour patterns among citizens in different countries;
- providing free and timely access to its accumulated data to professional users and members of the public;
- furthering the advancement of methods of quantitative social measurements and analysis in Europe and beyond.
The Specifications outline the tasks and responsibilities of the National Coordinators and the Survey Agency, list all activities, present a timetable and refer to a set of documents that provide guidelines in specific areas (sampling, translation, interviewer briefing, data delivery).
The aim of the Specifications is to ensure that high quality data are collected in a comparable way in each participating country. These data should represent both the populations of the participating countries and the concepts under study. Thus, the four key elements in the Specifications with regard to the survey itself are: