The ESS HUB is the Hungarian partner of the European Social Survey, European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). Hungary has been part of ESS since its inception in 2001 and has participated in all 10 survey rounds since then. The ESS provides a unique resource for mapping European societies, comparing countries, groups of countries or regions and studying changes over time. Insights from ESS could contribute to understanding the changes of European societies. For social scientists of the CEE region, ESS is particularly valuable as it allows comparison of the region with other regions of the EU and provides rich data for understanding social processes of transitioning.
The greatest value of ESS is its high quality: all steps of the survey, including sampling, construction and translation of questionnaires, control of fieldwork and documentation of the whole process follow the strictest quality standards. Participating countries adhere to the same methodological standards and processes, so that data collected in over thirty countries remain comparable across countries and over time. The survey includes core and rotating questionnaire modules. The core questionnaire modules are repeated every other year and provide a time-series comparison of the main socio-economic characteristics of societies, public attitudes, well-being and happiness, or basic human values. The rotating modules, on the other hand, examine more acute issues such as attitudes to climate change, the welfare state, health behavior or the timing of life - to name but a few.
The ESS received several honorable recognitions in the social sciences: it was awarded the Decartes Prize in 2005 and the LPV prize by the American Political Science Association in 2020.
The main task of ESS is to produce comparative survey data on European societies and social attitudes in 30 countries.
The ESS and its Hungarian partner are also a center for methodological innovation in Europe. It develops and tests alternative survey methods and their reliability and cross-national comparability. Currently, Hungary is involved in three innovative research projects: SUSTAIN -2 (H2020 project), alternative survey methods in the wake of the COVID -19 pandemic (Push-to-Web); cognitive interviewing of R11 rotating module questionnaires.
The data from ESS is a public good, meaning it is accessible to everyone and free of charge. More than 184 thousand people have registered to use the data worldwide, including 3100 users in Hungary. The vast majority of Hungarian users are university students (more than two thirds study at the MA and BA levels and 15% are PhD students), faculty and researchers.
An important goal of ESS HUB Hungary is to initiate academic discourse in the social sciences; it organizes annual conferences (an international conference is held every other year). With similar frequency, it initiates and edits a journal special issues.
Worldwide, more than 2700 publications have used the data of ESS (more than half of them in academic journals with IF) and the contribution to international and local publications authored by Hungarian authors is also significant (over 150).
Through regular lecture series the ESS HUB aims to support the information about and use of ESS data and the research infrastructure in higher education.