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Round 10 fieldwork update

Despite the pandemic, it is expected that 32 countries will take part in Round 10 of the European Social Survey (ESS) - the highest number of participating countries in a single round.

As a result of measures implemented to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, our fieldwork period has been more flexible than usual, allowing countries to field the survey from 1 September 2020 to early 2022.

Before starting any fieldwork, the ESS has approved a risk assessment questionnaire completed by each national team to ensure fieldwork can be delivered safely.

Countries in which face-to-face fieldwork could not be completed safely by the end of 2021 have been allowed to switch to a self-completion approach.

The self-completion method has been developed and tested over the last year. This has included experiments in Austria, Hungary and Serbia which have delivered quite promising results.

Of the 32 participating countries, 24 are expected to conduct face-to-face fieldwork, supported in this round with video interviews, where respondents do not want to be interviewed in person.

So far, one country - Slovenia - has completed fieldwork, with several others expected to finish by the end of 2021 or the first quarter of 2022.

Based on fieldwork progress so far, response rates are generally in line with those achieved during previous rounds, suggesting no notable reluctance among respondents to participate due to the pandemic.

However, fieldwork can sometimes be slower due to interviewer capacity being lower than in the past.

A further eight countries (Austria, Germany, Israel, Latvia, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Sweden) will deliver Round 10 data using only self-completion methods.

Self-completion countries have implemented a sequential web - paper design, with initial invitations requesting respondents complete the survey online.

For those who do not respond online after two mailings, paper questionnaires are sent by post. In most countries, the letters will be sent by post with no fieldworker involvement.

Some countries started their self-completion data collection in September 2021, with others beginning in October or November. Data collection will finish in late 2021 or early 2022.

The first Round 10 data release is planned for a small number of countries in May 2022 followed by a larger dataset - including self-completion countries - in November 2022. These dates, however, are still to be confirmed.

The face-to-face and self-completion data will be published in separate datasets.

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Stefan Swift
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