Letter from WAPOR President (May 2020)
Dear WAPOR Colleagues,
Our daily activities and plans continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and it is important for me to keep you informed on how our organization is adjusting. As I informed you in my March newsletter, due to the global pandemic, we have been discussing different scenarios regarding our Annual Conference, which we originally intended to hold in Salamanca next October. After following the world events and evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and consulting with the presenters and with the Council, we decided not to hold the Conference in-person but in a virtual mode instead. It was not an easy decision but we carefully analyzed the risks and benefits, and we believe it is the best option for WAPOR considering the COVID situation around the world, the social distancing recommendations and the economic implications and difficulties.
Therefore, we are pleased to announce that the 73rd WAPOR Annual Conference will be held together with the WAPOR Latam 9th Congress, in virtual mode, on October 6-9 as scheduled. We will be in touch and provide more information soon on how to participate, as well as further details on the program and scheduled sessions. Many interesting papers, a record of over 500, have been submitted this year, so we look forward to sharing all this knowledge with you as part of the conference’s highly relevant theme: Public Opinion and Survey Research in Changing Times. We have gathered some positive experience through our initiatives with the education platform, so we believe the virtual modality of this year’s Conference will be a great and innovative experience.
Regarding our education initiatives, we recently held a very successful webinar entitled: Changes in Survey Research in Times of COVID-19. I would like to congratulate Claire Durand for the excellent organization and all the presenters for their contributions. The webinar was conducted by survey researchers from different parts of the world: Angela Ambitho, Yashwant Deshmukh, Johnny Heald, and Ignacio Zuasnabar; who shared with attendees how COVID-19 has had an impact on survey research operations and related professional activities. The shared views on these issues were very enriching, and the great participation and good feedback we have seen from this webinar indicates that we need to continue offering these experiences and knowledge to our membership.
We are planning for monthly webinars this year, free of charge, on themes our members identify. So you are now invited to participate in a new webinar: COVID-19: How we ask questions, collect the data, and what do we learn?, that will take place on June 4th (Thursday), at 9:00 AM EDT. This session will feature colleagues from different regions: Constanza Cilley (Argentina), Gary Langer (USA), Wai Yu See Toh (Malaysia), and Torbjörn Sjöström (Sweden). Yulia Baskakova will moderate the webinar, and speakers will be sharing their experiences conducting research about the pandemic in their countries, what aspects of public moods they measure, what questions they use, the challenges they have faced collecting data in this time of the pandemic and the most interesting findings resulting from it. You will find more information about this event and can register here.
Another webinar is planned for July 9th on mixed modes. It will feature Edith De Leeuw and Anne Elevelt, well known specialists of this methodology.
The latest issue of the International Journal of Public Opinion Research (IJPOR) is now online. There are twelve articles in Volume 32, Issue 1 (Spring 2020), covering topics such as opinions about immigration, perceptions of genetically modified food, and various articles about politics. Current WAPOR members have free access to IJPOR online through our member portal. Not yet a member for 2020? Log in at https://access.wapor.org to join or renew!
The IJPOR is a source of informed analysis and comment for both professionals and academics. Supported by a Board drawn from over a dozen countries and several disciplines, and operated independently on a professional referee system, the journal is the first truly comparative, multidisciplinary forum serving the international community.
I also strongly recommend you to visit the RLOP (Revista Latinoamericana de Opinión Pública) site, the Journal of WAPOR LATAM, where you can find a selection of very interesting articles that will be published as FreePrints.
The Journal is entering a new stage, working with a new format, always improving the quality of articles and collaborations, and now without the limit of only two numbers per year published as FreePrints. The Journal accepts and publishes articles in Spanish, English and Portuguese, and you can find information to submit an article here. We congratulate Mariano Torcal, WAPOR Latam President, for the excellent work on their Journal!
We have compiled a list of public opinion research on COVID-19 from around the world (both national and multi-country) that has been posted to the WAPORnet listserv. It is now a huge archive, which adds an additional resource that you can share with others. You can find it on our website. We continue to encourage you to share what is happening in your country and the results of your research on WAPORnet. We are happy to see our members are using more wapornet to interchange between them and benefiting from it.
We are living in times of uncertainty and facing new challenges every day as researchers. I would like to express my gratitude to all of you, academics, researchers, journalists, students around the globe and also our Council, Regional Chapters, National Representatives and staff who work so hard and keep contributing and sharing knowledge and experience with WAPOR, helping to improve the way we work.
Please take care and keep safe. We will keep close and in touch.
Looking forward to meeting you all virtually in our next Conference in October!