BESIS British Election Studies Information System
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between What Europe Thinks and CCESD-IS?

What Europe Thinks includes all major comparative survey data for EU countries. It is designed for non-specialist users. CCESD-IS includes all the surveys held by our Centre and is not limited to just EU countries. It has options to select more advanced facilities.

2. Is there a step-by-step guide, for example, to creating one of the charts on the home page of What Europe Thinks?

The steps to creating the chart for the question about country facing better future outside the EU are outlined in the pdf file here..

3. I would like to include results from one of your web sites in a paper or report I am writing. Are there copyright restrictions and how to I reference your site?

No, there are no copyright restrictions. Please give the source as: "[web site name], developed by the Centre for Comparative European Survey Data", for example, ", developed by the Centre for Comparative European Survey Data".

4. I would like to include a direct link on another web site for some tables and charts on your site. Is this possible?

There is no automatic way to do this from our web sites. However, it may be possible to arrange such a service. For specific requests, please contact

5. Is it possible to download some survey datasets to carry out my own statistical analyses?

No, this is not possible from our web sites. The original datasets are held in a number of different data archives, in the UK, or Germany, or Norway, and available there to authorised users.

6. All the output tables show the percentage figures to one decimal place. Is it possible to change this setting? Yes. Advanced users have the option to set the default output in tables to 0, 1, or 2 decimal places.

7. Why do your Comparative European web sites show Great Britain and Northern Ireland as separate countries instead of simply the UK?

Several of the survey series do not include Northern Ireland, only Great Britain. It would be misleading to include their data as representative of the UK as a whole.

8. Your Comparative European web sites produce time-series results for "Germany" going back to the 1970s or earlier. How do you deal with the period before German unification when there were two, separate German nation-states, the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany?

This is a complex issue for which there is no ideal solution. Our web sites show times-series output as "Germany" for unified Germany for 1990 onwards, and for West Germany only before then. For the limited number of surveys we hold which include pre-unification, East Germany, these data will be shown in the CCESD site output when all countries is selected.
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