Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What topics are the CSES data about?
The CSES project focuses on respondents’ behavior and attitudes during the time of a national election, with a special emphasis on voting and turnout. Each CSES Module consists of a nationally-representative post-election survey and additional variables about the context of the overall country and electoral system within which the respondents find themselves. Every five years a new CSES Module is designed with a different substantive theme selected to address important questions in electoral studies and social science.
A convenient resource for exploring CSES topics is the CSES Variable Table.
When will the next dataset be released?
How is the CSES funded?
How can my election study participate in the CSES project?
What are the advantages of being a collaborator on the study?
What are the requirements for being a collaborator on the study?
I am a CSES collaborator and have completed my election study. What do I need to deposit with the CSES Secretariat?
- the dataset containing their nationally-representative post-election survey, necessary identification variables, administrative variables, and weight variables as appropriate
- the survey questionnaire in all of the original languages of administration
- if available, an English translation of the survey questionnaire
- a Macro Report and Design Report, filled out according to the time of the election study
How can I contact you if I discover an error, wish to add entries to the CSES bibliography, or to ask a question?
What are the different weighting variables for and how should I use them?
There are up to three weight variables available for each election study which appears within a CSES dataset:
- the sample weight seeks to correct for any unequal probability of selection due to the sampling design of the election study
- the demographic weight seeks to to bring the demographic distribution of the data closer to the population distribution
- the political weight seeks to adjust the reported political behavior of respondents in light of the actual vote count
The aforementioned weight variables are developed by individual collaborators for each election study and may be cumulative, or not.
The CSES project is not able to provide advice as to which weights are appropriate to use in a particular situation, as this is best left to analysts to decide based on their detailed knowledge of the research question they are investigating and the type of analysis they are using. We recommend that analysts consult the Variables Description section of the CSES codebook for detailed information about each included election study weight.
Why are political parties and party leaders assigned both numerical and alphabetical codes and how do these two coding systems work?
Alphabetical codes are used for variables such as party/candidate left-right placement, where each variable refers only to one specific party, or the respective leader of that party. Alphabetic codes A through F are assigned to the top parties (and their associated leaders) contesting the election, ordered in descending order of their popular vote share. Alphabetic codes G through I are optional variables provided so that collaborators can add a party/candidate which is not among the top vote shares, but is thought to be important to ask about for another reason.
How does CSES link its data with data from other projects?
Data Linkage facilitates the bringing together of information from two or more data sources with minimal effort to enhance datasets. This linked data can relate to the same polity, political party, event, or time. Across disciplines, the process has various descriptions: record matching, entity heterogeneity, field matching, or merge/purge. CSES engages in two forms of Data Linkage, namely Direct Linkage and Data Bridging.
Direct Linkage is the inclusion by CSES of various macro-level data originating from other sources (e.g., The World Bank, the IDEA) directly in CSES data products. These macro data explain the characteristics of the political system and contextual conditions of polity at the election time. Data Bridging facilitates the possibility of linking CSES data with other familiar sources through standard identifiers already included in CSES. These include polity identification variables ending in _UN is the three-digit United Nation polity code, and the identification variable ending in _NAM is the verbatim name of the polity. More information on Data Bridging possibilities within CSES are here.