Quality & Quantity

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 1449–1467 | Cite as

The rise of cross-national survey data harmonization in the social sciences: emergence of an interdisciplinary methodological field

  • Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow
  • Irina Tomescu-Dubrow


Cross-national survey data harmonization combines surveys conducted in multiple countries and across many time periods into a single, coherent dataset. Methodologically, ex post survey data harmonization is especially complex because it combines projects that were not specifically designed to be comparable. We examine the institutional and intellectual history of nine large scale ex post survey data harmonization (SDH) projects in the social sciences from the 1980s to the 2010s. An interdisciplinary methodological field of SDH slowly emerges, facilitated in part by a partnership between academia and government and from the coordinated contributions of social scientists, survey methodologists and computer scientists. While there has been a learning process, it is in terms of accumulated practicalities, and not with the coordination or institutional apparatus one would expect from a 30 year effort.


Harmonization Surveys Methodology Cross-national Interdisciplinary 



This work is supported by the project “Democratic Values and Protest Behavior: Data Harmonization, Measurement Comparability, and Multi-Level Modeling in Cross-National Perspective”, funded by the National Science Centre, Poland, under the grant number 2012/06/M/HS6/00322. We thank Kazimierz M. Slomczynski and Marta Kolczynska for their comments on an earlier draft, and Dean Lillard for advice on the citation of harmonized data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow
    • 1
    • 2
  • Irina Tomescu-Dubrow
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Cross-national Studies: Interdisciplinary Research and Training program (CONSIRT)The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Philosophy and SociologyPolish Academy of SciencesWarsawPoland

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