New survey innovations highlighted at international conference

On 25-27th July, over 200 survey methodologists gathered at the Methodology of Longitudinal Surveys II conference to share methodological research findings and to discuss developments in carrying out longitudinal surveys.

Held at the University of Essex, the three-day conference focused on new developments in longitudinal survey design. Contributions from the conference will be included in a special edition of the journal, Longitudinal and Life Course Studies.

The conference covered many new areas such as:

  • Methods to encourage continued participation
  • Ways of utilising multiple data collection modes
  • Improving the measurement of change
  • Obtaining participant consent to data linkage
  • Linking and analysing administrative data longitudinally
  • Longitudinal methods for cross-disciplinary research including the use of biomarkers in social survey

Prize opportunities

To recognise and encourage early-career researchers focusing on survey methodology there was an awards ceremony on the first day.

This prize was open to current students and recent graduates and asked for papers that addressed any topic which fell within the scope of the conference.

The winner of the Student Paper Award 2018 was Ruben L. Bach from the University of Mannheim for his work A Methodological Framework for the Analysis of Panel Conditioning Effects.

There was also two highly commended entries: 

Caroline Vandenplas, University of Leuven, Jessica M E Herzing, University of Lausanne and University of Mannheim, and Julian Axenfeld, University of Mannheim, for A Method for Optimizing Reminder Procedures During Data Collection of an Online Panel: A Data-Driven Approach

Nicole James, University of Essex, for 'Tis the Season: Seasonal Effects and Panel Attrition

 

The winner of the Student Paper Award 2018 was Ruben L. Bach from the University of Mannheim for his work A Methodological Framework for the Analysis of Panel Conditioning Effects.

International presence

In addition to early career researchers, the conference also attracted global delegates. The World Bank Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building (WBTFSCB), funded a group of academics from developing countries. They included; Abdulhakeem Eideh (Palestine) Arokiasamy Perianayagam (India); Dramane Bako (Burkina Faso); Dita Dobranja (Kososvo) and Kawtar Zeroual (Morocco).

The World Bank Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building (WBTFSCB), funded a group of academics from developing countries.

Longitudinal Studies Review

At the end of day one and day three there was an opportunity for delegates to provide input on the Economic and Social Research Council’s Longitudinal Studies Review, which was published in May 2018.

Delegates commented on:

  • The opportunities for innovation in the existing cohorts and in Understanding Society

  • The practicalities in designing  a potential new birth cohort with accelerated design

  • Developing an administrative data spine

  • The priorities for development activities including evidence syntheses, tests/pilots/experiments, and consultancies.

Missed the conference?

For those who were unable to attend this year’s conference please see the online programme for abstracts. All monograph papers will be prepared for publication as chapters in a book to be published by Wiley in their survey methodology series. This is expected to be published in Spring 2019.