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After fieldwork is completed, FORS will review and verify the data and process it, so it can be integrated into the central data archive of the ESS. The anonymized datasets of the ESS are freely available to researchers and other interested people after previous registration and agreement to the data use conditions. The data can be downloaded as SAS or SPSS files from the ESS website. For users without access to statistical software, the ESS website provides an online tool to analyze the data.

The Swiss ESS-data are also available on the FORS NESSTAR SERVER. Only this server provides access to additional, country-specific questions surveyed in Switzerland and to German and French versions of the data set. Further information on the survey, the data and variables are also available there. NESSTAR, however, provides only a limited set of the Swiss ESS-data. The overall dataset is available through the FORSbase data catalogue.

For cross-country comparisons, the data have to be weighted by population size of the respective countries in order to assure the correct representation of each country. The ESS calculates these weights for all participating countries (see ESS population size weights). Depending on the national sampling design, the data of some countries have to be weighted to account for sampling design bias (see ESS design weights). For Switzerland, only the ESS data from 2002 to 2008 need the application of such design weights. Starting from 2010, the respondents are drawn from a one stage national random sample of individuals and, hence, no weights need to be applied.

Researchers are hold to respect the data use conditions, in particular the proper citation in articles or other forms of publications. All publications that make reference to the data must be communicated to the ESS Bibliography.

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Users who want to expand their knowledge on statistics in social sciences can attend a free online-course: EDUNET provides theory as well as practical tutorials including correction/proofing with ESS-data.

Interesting links:

Further documents: