New! Harmonization Newsletter Summer 2019

The latest issue of Harmonization: Newsletter on Survey Data Harmonization in the Social Sciences is out now.

This issue features articles and news. The first is by Marco Fattore and Filomena Maggino on major conceptual challenges to the creation of society-level indicators. Next, Joonghyun Kwak and Kazimierz M. Slomczynski present a concrete example of survey data aggregation into macro-level indicators, using cross-national data on trust in public institutions for their illustration. We then feature a report on the GESIS Roundtable on ex-post harmonization and announce a forthcoming conference & workshop on data harmonization at the Polish Academy of Sciences. We present news about harmonization projects: the American Opportunity Study, HaSpaD at GESIS, and Linguistic Explorations of Societies at the University of Goteborg. We round out the issue with news of recent publications. Redirects to The Ohio State University’s College of Arts and Sciences

We’ve moved our content, including the Newsletter, to, the address you see now. The content is hosted by The Ohio State University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

New! Harmonization Newsletter Fall 2018

We present the latest and largest issue of Harmonization: Newsletter on Survey Data Harmonization in the Social Sciences.

The Fall 2018 issue features new research. We begin with two articles on the meaning of survey items that do not refer to a specific time frame for respondents’ past political behavior: what we call, “Have Done ‘Ever’” items. In this mini-symposium, Irina Tomescu-Dubrow, Josh Dubrow, Ilona Wysmulek, and Kazimierz M. Slomczynski write about the history of, and logical limits in, the use of these items. J. Craig Jenkins and Joonghyun Kwak examine the connection between Have Done Ever items and protest event data. Next, Joonghyun Kwak explores the cross-national comparability of perceived immigrant-threat measurement. Then, Bashir Tofangsazi and Denys Lavryk reveal what it is like to hand code the documentation of over 1700 surveys. We round out the issue with news of the 2019 Comparative Survey Design and Implementation (CSDI) international workshop to be hosted by the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, sessions at the next ESRA conference, and partnerships with The Ohio State University’s Translational Data Analytics Institute (TDAI).

Harmonization Newsletter Summer 2018


The Summer 2018 issue of Harmonization: Newsletter on Survey Data Harmonization in the Social Sciences is out now.

Harmonization Newsletter v4n1 Summer 2018This issue features items on a variety of topics. Tom W. Smith writes about how cross-national research programs can improve comparativeness at the project and program levels. Claire Durand, Paul Pelletier and David Wutchiett build on a previous Harmonization item (vol. 2, no. 2) to address why institutional trust varies across world regions. Ewa Jarosz discusses the harmonization of time-use surveys. The V-Dem Team presents the latest version of their renowned democracy project. The Survey Data Recycling team reflects on their participation in the latest Comparative Survey Design and Implementation (CSDI) workshop.

Fall 2017 Issue of Harmonization Newsletter Out Now!

The Harmonization Project team, in coordination with Cross-national Studies: Interdisciplinary Research and Training program (, has published the latest issue of Harmonization: Newsletter on Survey Data Harmonization in the Social Sciences.

You can download the newsletter here.

This issue features news and articles on a variety of topics. First is news of two grants won by members of the Harmonization Project. The US National Science Foundation awarded co-PIs Kazimierz M. Slomczynski, Irina Tomescu-Dubrow and J. Craig Jenkins 1.4 million USD for four years to further research on Survey Data Recycling. Meanwhile, Joshua K. Dubrow was awarded 764,000 PLN for three years by Poland’s National Science Centre for a project on political and economic inequality in cross-national perspective, featuring the SDR dataset.
Stand-out articles by the international survey data community speak to the diversity of harmonization research in the social sciences. Tom Emery writes about how to harmonize administrative data with survey data in the cross-national Generations and Gender Survey; Ilona Wysmułek presents the issues on the comparability of corruption perception items in major public opinion surveys, and Marta Kołczynska, Irina Tomescu-Dubrow and Kazimierz M. Slomczynski discuss issues in harmonizing education across nations and time.

Summer 2017 Issue of Harmonization Newsletter Published

The Harmonization Project team, in coordination with Cross-national Studies: Interdisciplinary Research and Training program (, has published the latest issue of Harmonization: Newsletter on Survey Data Harmonization in the Social Sciences.

You can download and view the newsletter here.

The issue covers a variety of news on big data, harmonization, and data quality. The Harmonization Project published its data on Harvard’s Dataverse, and The Ohio State University opened the Translational Data Analytics Institute focused on big data. In the articles this newsletter features, Koen Beullens and colleagues summarize their European Social Survey data quality report, Verena Ortmanns and Silke Schneider present their latest research on cross-national harmonization of educational attainment variables, Kea Tijdens discusses measurement of occupations in multi-country surveys, Irina Tomescu-Dubrow and colleagues discuss metadata on survey quality, and Anna Turner argues for more and better sociological use of Google search data.

Survey Data Harmonization Team wins 4-year NSF grant

The Survey Data Harmonization Team led by Kazimierz M. Slomczynski, Irina Tomescu-Dubrow, and Craig Jenkins received a four-year, $1.4 million award from NSF for the project, “Survey Data Recycling: New Analytic Framework, Integrated Database and Tools for Cross-National Social, Behavioral and Economic Research” (SDR) starting September 1, 2017. The award will support the development of a harmonized database derived from more than 3,000 national surveys administered over five decades to more than 3.5 million respondents from more than 150 countries. The SDR enables innovative data-intensive research on major substantive topics of social science interest and advances the fields of comparative methodology and of survey-data harmonization.

Conference and Workshop: Democracy, the State and Protest

Cross-national Studies: Interdisciplinary Research and Training program ( and the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University organized a two-day event, “Democracy, the State and Protest: International Perspectives on Methods for the Study of Protest,” on May 11-12, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. The conference and workshop brought together scholars representing different approaches to the studies of protest behavior and democracy. Invited speakers presented their work on issues related to various aspects of the relationship between protest and democracy, with an emphasis on measurement and methodology. The program of the event, as well as speakers’ bios are available here.

The Harmonized Dataset Published on Dataverse!

The SDR Master Box, including the harmonized survey data file, is now available for download via Dataverse. The SDR Master Box consists of five data files and corresponding documentation: (1) the master file (MASTER) with individual-level data from cross-national surveys, (2) country-level file (PLUG-COUNTRY), (3) country-year-level file (PLUG-COUNTRY-YEAR), (4) survey-level file (PLUG-SURVEY), and (5) wave-level file (PLUG-WAVE). The MASTER file is the core of the Master Box and contains harmonized target variables, harmonization control variables, as well as flags for non-unique records, non-unique case IDs, and missing case IDs, while the other PLUG files contain contextual data, metadata, and data quality indicators.

Harmonize or Control? The Use of Multilevel Analysis to Analyze Trust in Institutions in the World

by Claire Durand, Isabelle Valois and Luis Patricio Peña Ibarra, Department of Sociology, University of Montreal

This article presents the current progress of a research project whose aim is to develop methods to analyze combined micro-data. The most recent papers that were presented (see references) give an insight into the work that has been accomplished to date.

This project was triggered by a preceding project where we aimed at analyzing change in support for Quebec sovereignty over time taking into account that question wordings and specific constitutional choices offered in survey questions varied over time and between surveys. We had identified close to 700 questions asked in polls over a 40-year period. In order to analyze these data, we used a multilevel model where polls were embedded within months. This allowed for analyzing the impact of question characteristics at level 1. Since time itself was at level 2, we could study change in support for sovereignty over time and the impact of events that occurred during each period controlling for question wording and constitutional choices (Yale & Durand, 2011).

This research ended with a frustration. We would have liked to be able to answer questions like whether the impact of age on support for sovereignty was fading over time. This requested combining micro-data, not just poll results. Therefore, we decided to combine data sets in order to be able to answer our research questions. However, instead of maintaining the focus on Quebec sovereignty, the focus was changed to institutional trust.

The first project is Valois’s Trust in Canada which involves combining survey data over a 40-year period; the second and third project started with the objective of combining all the surveys that had questions on trust in institutions everywhere in the world. One project is Durand et al.’s Trust in the World who combined the data from all the Barometers conducted outside Europe and the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) surveys; the other one is Peña Ibarra’s Trust in Latin America, which uses a subset of these data to focus on Central and South America plus Mexico. The basic information on the three projects is presented in Table 1.

Read more ›