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Www.europeansocialsurvey.org The future of cross-national research infrastructures Roger Jowell City University, London UK 40 th Anniversary Workshop UK.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.europeansocialsurvey.org The future of cross-national research infrastructures Roger Jowell City University, London UK 40 th Anniversary Workshop UK."— Presentation transcript:

1 The future of cross-national research infrastructures Roger Jowell City University, London UK 40 th Anniversary Workshop UK Data Archive, July 2007

2 Cross-national time series ‘Top-down’ time series, eg LFS, EU-SILC, Eurobarometers, DHS ‘Bottom-up’ time series, eg WVS, ISSP, EVS, ESS Official funding no guarantee of security Praise a poor substitute for security Result: many (most?) time series have no time horizons

3 Why time series need ‘infrastructure’ funding Long-term planning Continuity of staffing Ability to introduce methodological variations Inefficiency of episodic funding Measurement of change needs repeat measures

4 The ESS – the story so far Four biennial rounds funded to date Initiated by ESF, core-funded by EC, national funding from national sources Each round requires up to 30 separate funding decisions Each decision contingent on others Not yet any stable long-term support

5 Implications of insecure funding Projects effectively stagger from round to round Big risks for researchers AND funders AND users Long-term projects require long-term plans Risk of funder fatigue Not just a problem for the social sciences

6 EC response to the problem ESFRI to the rescue – nominated 35 projects for new infrastructure support – of which up to 4 in social science, up to 2 in humanities Long-term funding in prospect (perhaps 5-6 years renewable) ESS, CESDA and SHARE all singled out as contenders Similar moves within several National Science Foundations Marks new recognition that time series – particularly cross- national time series - have special needs


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