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Call for Question Submissions – Scottish Opinion Monitor

Glasgow University at night

The Scottish Election Study (SES) is delighted to announce another call for survey question submissions, this time for our regular Scottish Opinion Monitor (SCOOP) survey series. We particularly welcome submissions from PhD students/early career researchers and others who may have limited opportunities to conduct research with high quality survey samples.

Surveys for SCOOP are administered by YouGov to representative cross-sectional samples of approximately 1,200 over-16s resident in Scotland three times annually. SCOOP will go to the field in February, June and November each year unless there is a major election or referendum event, in which case the schedule will be adapted accordingly. Note that SCOOP is not a panel study, so a different sample of respondents will be involved for each iteration.

This is a rolling call, so we will accept question submissions at any time. However, for those who wish to field questions in the upcoming edition, we kindly request that these are submitted by next Friday, the 4th of February 2022.

Please send question proposals to SES Research Associate Fraser McMillan:

If you are interested in submitting a question, question battery or experiment, please read the FAQ below. Please do get in touch with Fraser or send a message to the SES Twitter account if you have further questions.


What is SCOOP?

The Scottish Election Study is known for conducting surveys before and after major electoral events in Scotland, and our data have long played an important part in informing academic and public debate about Scottish politics, public opinion and the constitutional question. We developed the SCOOP to provide a reliable source of information on public opinion at more regular intervals, giving ourselves, the wider academic community and commentators the ability to track change in attitudes over time.

A “core” set of questions will be asked in every iteration of SCOOP, and some on a less-regular but recurring basis e.g. anually, with the remainder of space given over to topical, thematic or solicited questions.

SCOOP debuted in December 2021, with our work on public attitudes to and understanding of various aspects of the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 response attracting significant media attention. The dataset for the first edition of SCOOP is due to be released as one component of a wider SES event in March 2022 – this will be announced in full at a later date.

What type of question can I submit?

There are no specific limitations on the type or length of question/questions you can submit, although shorter batteries of one or two questions will probably have a better chance of inclusion. SCOOP questionnaires are best suited to political scientists, but we will consider questions from those in other disciplines as well.

Our core SCOOP questions tend to cover the usual suspects: most important issue, vote intention, constitutional preferences, government performance and so on. Outside of these domains, it’s unlikely that a specific question or set of questions you’d like to ask will be running.

You can also propose questions on these central topics, of course – feel free to ask in advance if we cover a particular angle.

Do I need to format my proposal in a certain way?

Submission of questions is format-free, so you can send them in whatever way suits you best, whether that’s in the body of the email or as a separate doc. The latter is obviously preferred for longer proposals.

You also don’t need to worry about drafting the questions in a particular format – as long as the questions and response options are clear we can script it ourselves.

It’s also up to you how much justification you provide for your questions. Please provide at least a summary of the research question you intend to answer with your submission. We are more likely to select questions if they are substantively relevant to a wider research project rather than being speculative.

How will the questions be selected and will I be informed?

The SES team will consider all submissions while drafting the SCOOP questionnaire and collectively decide which ones to run on the basis of question quality, relevance and utility to the researcher and wider community. We will inform you if we intend to run your question and/or have any suggested tweaks before doing so. If we don’t run your questions in one round, we will get in touch and let you know whether they might be considered for later iterations of SCOOP.

When will I get the data?

We will release the data publicly no more than three months after the date of fieldwork, i.e. the February SCOOP will be available before the end of May, with precise dates depending on when we go to the field. Ideally, we would send question proposers the data before the three month point to give them a chance to conduct analysis before others are able to access it. However, we cannot guarantee that at this stage. If you would require data very urgently, please let us know and we will get back to you about whether that’s possible.