The University of Lausanne funds a joint research programme that involves many researchers from FORS and the neighbouring Faculty for Social and Political Sciences (SSP). Among other things, FORS and SSP jointly organise the Methods and Research Meetings where invited guests as well as researchers from FORS or from the University of Lausanne exchange on methodological issues on a regular basis.
Since its creation, FORS regularly collaborate with the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) on methodological issues but also to facilitate and promote the use of public administration surveys for research purposes. These surveys cover various themes, such as economics, education, mobility, and health, and aim for understanding the evolution of society in its entirety.
With the goal of promoting the use of public statistical data, the FORS data service:
FORS has agreements with several major institutions that collect information on projects in the field of educational research. Project descriptions in the following databases are sent directly to FORS. Therefore, it is not necessary to register these projects in FORSbase.
Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education – SCCRE
The SCCRE supports the exchange of information among researchers in the field of education. It operates the secretariat of the Swiss Society for Research in Education (SSRE) and houses the SSRE’s archives.
Swiss Center for Special Education – SCSE
The SCSE is a documentation center dealing with issues relating to education, schooling and the training of persons with special educational needs and disabilities. As a documentation centre, it provides an information platform, organises seminars and publishes the Revue suisse de pédagogie spécialisée as well as the Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Heilpädagogik. FORSbase hosts project descriptions and special education data.
Service de la recherche en éducation – SRED
The SRED produces a set of indicators and public statistics on the Geneva education system. It conducts research projects and carries out evaluations aimed at deepening knowledge of issues directly related to the services and activities of the Geneva education and training system.
The ARAMIS information system contains information regarding research projects and assessments that are either run or funded by the Federal Administration. It has been operational since 1997 to ensure greater transparency and cooperation in the area of policy sector research.
FORS has an agreement with ARAMIS to exchange relevant information. Thus, the projects registered in this database are directly transmitted to FORS and it is therefore not necessary to register them in FORSbase. The ARAMIS database is published online.
FORS organises in partnership with the Universities of Lausanne, Lucerne, and Neuchâtel, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office and the vsms-asms the master programme Public Opinion and Survey Methodology (MEOP). This programme teaches key competences related to FORS activities. FORS participates in the Scientific Council in charge of running the program and FORS staff members teach in the programme.
FORS is a member of the CESSDA ERIC consortium (European Research Infrastructure Consortium), a network of European social science data archives which, as a coordinating body, contributes to the definition of documentation standards, regulates the circulation of data within the network and promotes international exchange. FORS’ membership within CESSDA gives Swiss researchers easy access to data distributed by all member archives. FORS represents Switzerland in the General Assemblies of the CESSDA ERIC and FORS staff participates in coordinating bodies of CESSDA and its various projects.
The ICPSR is one of the oldest and certainly one of the largest data archives in the world. This consortium attached to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ensures access to American datasets but also to the most important foreign datasets, for example the Eurobarometers of the European Union. ICPSR relies on a network of institutional members, usually universities, colleges or research institutes, which also provide funding. Each member organization has an official representative. It is the contact point for those seeking support in the search for data. Staff and students of member schools and institutes have free access to the data. The ICPSR has set up an authentication system that allows direct access to data for any person operating the download from a station of one of the member organizations. In Switzerland, access to ICPSR data is provided by three institutions: FORS (contact: Stefan Bürli), the University of Geneva (contact: Eugène Horber) and the University of Zürich (contact: Daniele Helminger).
The LIS is an international data centre that provides researchers with a harmonised database on socio-economic aspects. It integrates microdata from the various national surveys conducted at regular intervals in the 41 participating countries, including Switzerland. The strong point of this database is obviously the fact that it allows international comparisons, as well as over time. It is thus very popular among students in political, economic and social sciences, but also among researchers working in the fields of poverty and income inequality.
As Switzerland is a member of the project, researchers and students from Switzerland can register with LIS to use these microdata free of charge, according to the LIS dissemination modalities. It should also be noted that the LIS makes several hundred working papers freely available on its website. Finally, a workshop is organized every summer in Luxembourg to learn more about this database and the possibilities it offers. More information can be found on the website.
The Comparative Candidate Survey (CCS) is a joint multi-national project with the goal of collecting data on candidates running for national parliamentary elections in different countries using a common core questionnaire to allow for cross-country comparison. FORS collaborators represent Switzerland in the CCS Steering committee. The CCS data file is finalised and archived at FORS.
The Comparative Study of Electoral System (CSES) is an international network of national election studies. CSES develops questionnaire modules, which can be integrated into post-election voter surveys. FORS integrates the CSES module in Selects and FORS collaborators represent Switzerland in the CSES Planning Committee.
The European Social Survey (ESS) is a cross-national survey that has been conducted in around 30 European countries every two years since 2002. It measures values, attitudes and behavioural patterns of the populations of European countries. Switzerland has participated in all rounds since the very beginning.
FORS represents Switzerland in the ESS ERIC General Assembly and the ESS National Coordinators Forum. FORS staff participates in coordinating bodies of the ESS and is responsible for the Swiss part of the ESS.
The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) was set-up in 2002. The ESFRI’s delegates are nominated by research ministers of the EU Member and Associated Countries and include a Commission representative. The ESFRI has a key role in policy-making on research infrastructures in Europe.
The FORS Director represents Switzerland in the ESFRI Strategic Working Group on Social and Cultural Innovation. This working group is responsible for drafting the ESFRI Landscape analysis and to evaluate existing as well as new projects to get on the ESFRI roadmap in the coming years.
The European Values Study (EVS) is a large-scale, cross-national survey on basic human values that has been conducted every nine years since 1981. With more than 47 participating countries, the EVS is the most comprehensive research project on human values in Europe. It provides insights into the ideas, beliefs, preferences, attitudes, values and opinions of citizens throughout Europe. Switzerland participated in the study for the third time in 2017 (after 1990 and 2008).
FORS represents Switzerland in the EVS Council of program directors and the Executive and Methodology Group. Furthermore, FORS conducts the Swiss data for the EVS.
The International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) is a cross-national collaboration programme conducting annual surveys on diverse topics relevant to social sciences. Switzerland participates in the ISSP since 1987. Since 2005 the ISSP modules are in Switzerland integrated in MOSAiCH.
FORS staff represents Switzerland in the ISSP Annual meeting, which decides on modules for the coming period. Switzerland currently also chairs the ISSP Methodological committee through FORS. FORS conducts the Swiss data for the ISSP.
SHARE is a multidisciplinary and cross-national panel database of microdata on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of individuals aged 50 and over in Europe and Israel. The survey has been conducted every two years since 2004.
Together with the University of Lausanne, FORS is responsible for conducting SHARE in Switzerland. FORS represents Switzerland in the General Assembly of SHARE. FORS staff participates in coordinating bodies of SHARE and conducts the Swiss data.