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How do I cite the Guidelines?

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

(see How to Cite for more specifics)

How do I print the Guidelines?

A Portable Document File (.pdf) version of each chapter can be downloaded by clicking the icon in the upper-right-hand corner under the main title on each chapter page. Click on the link, and the .pdf file will open in a new tab, where you can print it or save it to your hard drive. A PDF version of the full set of guidelines is also available on the homepage.

How is this version different from the previous version?

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:

What happened to the previous version?

The guidelines that were published in 2010 have been archived.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

Can I search for keywords?

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.

How are chapters organized?

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.

How do I navigate the website?

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.

How do I contact you?

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

Who is the intended audience?

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.

How do I contribute content?

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.