The European Social Survey ERIC (ESS) experimented with the world’s first cross-national probability-based online panel, named CRONOS, recruited off the back of ESS Round 8. One of the biggest challenges of the project was the coordination and harmonised management of the sample in the three different European countries taking part in the project (Estonia, Slovenia and Great Britain. In particular, the need to restrict and enable access to panellists’ information for subsets of the staff whilst also facilitating the correct level of access at the central level was identified as a challenge.
Currently, there is no “off-the-shelf” commercial software that is flexible enough to manage the complexity of a cross-national sample. For this reason, ESS ERIC in collaboration with Sciences Po decided to develop a sample management system (abbreviation SMS) capable of dealing with the complexity highlighted above as part of the SSHOC project.
This document describes the technical specification of a sample management system for cross-national purposes, outlining the main functionalities of the system and describing the user roles related to access rights to panellists’ contact information.