SDR 2.0 Cotton File

The SDR 2.0 COTTON FILE: Cumulative List of Variables in the Surveys of the SDR Database is a comprehensive data dictionary, in Microsoft Excel format. Its main purpose is to facilitate the overview of 88118 variable names, values, and labels available in the original (source) data files that we retrieved automatically for harmonization purposes in the SDR Project. The SDR 2.0 COTTON FILE (.xlsm), and the SDR 2.0 INTRO to COTTON FILE (pdf) describing features and providing tips for using the file, can be downloaded at Harvard Dataverse.

Information in the COTTON FILE comes from 215 source data files. They comprise ca. 3500 national surveys administered between 1966 and 2017 in 142 countries or territories, as part of the 23 international survey projects Table 1 lists. The source files were downloaded in January/February 2018.

The order of variable names in the COTTON FILE, the variable values and the wording of labels, strictly mirror the respective information in the source data files. Most of the original information we retrieved is provided in English. However, original labels in some Americas Barometer (AMB) and Comparative National Elections Project (CNEP) datasets were in Spanish. In such situations, along with the Spanish wording we provide also an automated English translation from Google Translate.

To browse the COTTON FILE one may use (a) Excel’s built-in filtering functionality or (b) a custom search box written in Visual Basic for Applications. The second option was created specifically for the COTTON FILE to overcome the limitation of Excel’s built-in filtering, which does not properly handle lists exceeding 10,000 unique values, and returns a filtered list that is incomplete in an unpredictable way.

Table 1. Survey projects in the SDR database v. 2.0

AcronymProject Name
ABSAsian Barometer Survey
ARBArab Barometer
ASESAsia Europe Survey
CBCaucasus Barometer
CDCEEConsolidation of Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe
CNEPComparative National Elections Project
EQLSEuropean Quality of Life Survey
ESSEuropean Social Survey
EVSEuropean Values Study
ISJPInternational Social Justice Project 
ISSPInternational Social Survey Programme
LITSLife in Transition Survey
NBBNew Baltic Barometer
NEBNew Europe Barometer
PA1Political Action I (An Eight Nation Study)
PA2Political Action II
PPE7NPolitical Participation and Equality in Seven Nations
VPCPCEValues and Political Change in Postcommunist Europe
WVSWorld Values Survey