Please cite as follows:
Survey Research Center. (2016). Guidelines for Best Practice in Cross-Cultural Surveys. Ann Arbor, MI: Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. Retrieved Month, dd, yyyy, from

A Portable Document File (.pdf) version of each chapter will be available soon; the link will be the chapter name in the upper-right-hand corner of each chapter webpage. Click on the link, and the .pdf file will open in a new window, where you can print it or save it to your hard drive. A .pdf version of the full set of guidelines will be also available on the homepage soon.

With this new 2016 version of the Guidelines, the amount of information provided has doubled to over 600 pages of content. Although each chapter has undergone update and revision, several chapters have expanded significantly. These chapters address questionnaire design, translation, adaptation, survey management, and quality. Below is the list of newly added or rewrittened chapters:

        - Study Design and Organizational Structure​

        - Study Management

        - Translation: Overview

        - Adaptation

        - DataCollection: General ConsiderationsFace-to-Face Surveys, Telephone Surveys, and 

          Self-Administered Surveys

        - Paradata and Other Auxiliary Data

        - Statistical Analysis

        - Ethical Considerations

The guidelines that were published in 2010 have been archived. The old version is available; the link can be found by clicking the Archive link under the Resources tab.

There is no search function available on the website. Click on the link for the .pdf version of the respective chapter or full guidelines if you would like to search.

All of the chapters have a similar layout, making it easy to find the subsection that interests you. Each chapter is composed of a set of guidelines containing the subsections of rationale, procedural steps, and lessons learned. The Rationale provides some background on the guideline; the Procedural steps walk you through the process of implementing the guideline; and the Lessons learned provide some context for outcomes related to the guideline.

Please use the Chapter title link under the Chapters tab.The links to the chapters are always visible on the left side of the screen, regardless of what part of the website you are currently visiting. To jump to a particular chapter, just click on its title. If you click the Chapters tab, you can click the Chapter title link within the Survey Lifecycle as well.

If you have any suggestions or questions, please contact us using the Contact Form link under the  "Contact Us" page under the Help tab.

The intended audience for the guidelines includes researchers and survey practitioners planning or engaged in cross-cultural or cross-national research. The aim of the initiative was to develop and promote internationally recognized guidelines that highlight best practice for the conduct of comparative survey research across cultures and countries.

If you have your own "lessons learned", please add these using the Contact Form link under the  "Contact Us" page under the Help tab. Provide citation where feasible and let us know if we may include your example in future versions.