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Important update on ESS Round 10 fieldwork

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of Round 10 fieldwork - originally due to be collected in face to face interviews from late 2020 - was not possible last year.

Our national coordinators are hopeful of being able to conduct fieldwork in 2021 but, in some cases, a switch of data collection to self-completion mode is expected (web and paper self-completion).

Prior to undertaking face to face data collection, ESS national teams are required to complete a COVID-19 risk assessment and discuss that with the Core Scientific Team.

Video interviewing is allowed in combination with face to face interviewing, whereby fieldwork agencies would undertake the interview via an online video conferencing platform with respondents not willing to meet in person.

An online and paper self-completion version of the questionnaire has been prepared should national teams not be able to guarantee that face to face interviewing will be possible by December 2021.

In the case of self-completion, the recruitment of respondents would be undertaken through a postal invite to complete the online questionnaire, or with fieldworkers visiting addresses for recruitment on the doorstep without entering the household.

During 2020, only Slovenia managed to conduct in person fieldwork - around half of the planned interviews took place before restrictions stopped their work.

We announced last year that our fieldwork period will be more flexible than usual, allowing countries to start collecting survey data at any time between 1 September 2020 and late 2021.

To maintain the comparability of our data as much as possible in these circumstances and ensure we can start to plan for Round 11 (2022/23), all Round 10 fieldwork must be finished by 31 December 2021.

The first Round 10 data release is therefore currently scheduled for April 2022.

Everyone at the ESS thanks our dedicated national teams for all their efforts in planning to conduct fieldwork at this difficult time.

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Stefan Swift
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