ANES Online Commons


During 2006-2009, ANES will be implementing several exciting new initiatives to provide a wide range of scholars with expanded opportunities for inquiry. These opportunities include the 2006 Pilot Study, the 2007-2009 Panel Study, a collaboration with the National Longitudinal Studies, and the 2008 general election study that continues the well-known ANES Time Series.

The effectiveness of these studies will be greatly enhanced if they are based on sustained, constructive, and rigorous scholarly interactions about all aspects of questionnaire design and implementation. Many innovative ideas (from a range of scientific disciplines and perspectives) can be incorporated in the upcoming studies, and the Online Commons has been created to make such collaborations possible.

The goal of the Online Commons is to improve the quality and scientific value of each of our data collections, to encourage the submission of new ideas, and to make such experiences more beneficial to and enjoyable for individual investigators.

The Online Commons is open to anyone who wants to make constructive contributions to the design of ANES data collections. Any Internet user can view the Online Commons, but posting something may only be done by people who have registered for Online Commons membership. Learn how to register on the Online Commons registration page.

After registering, members may write proposals advocating for the inclusion of new questions in the questionnaires or suggesting that we continue to ask questions that have been asked in the past or suggesting that particular questions not be asked again. Members are also eligible to post comments about each proposal, and proposal authors can update or revise their proposals in response to advice they receive.

Design of the ANES has always involved public input, but with the Online Commons, we will do so more openly and effectively than ever before, promoting public discussion about the suitability of particular questions before they are included in surveys, rather than after.

The Online Commons will allow ANES decision-making to be open, transparent, and constructive. The Online Commons will constitute a forum for scholars to offer each other constructive feedback, a forum for mentoring graduate students or junior faculty, a vehicle for improving and amending proposals, and an opportunity to measure the extent to which a particular proposal is supported by previous empirical work, current theory, and/or a sizeable scholarly community. Interaction on the Online Commons will be a critical mechanism for building and maintaining the ANES as an innovative and broadly-relevant scientific instrument, while also enhancing the effectiveness of related studies.