University of Gothenburg
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Frequently asked questions and answers

Have you received a SOM survey? On this page, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about the survey and your participation in English.

The SOM Institute is an independent research organisation at the University of Gothenburg. The SOM survey focuses on society, public opinion and the media, hence the acronym SOM. More information about the SOM Institute and our surveys can be found on our website:

You being selected to partake the the survey is the result of chance. Before sending any invitations, a random sample of people aged 16–90 is drawn from the Swedish population register. This year, you were one of those chosen at random.

The scientific method on which the survey is based means that you cannot allow another person to answer for you. It would not result in a representative picture of the attitudes and habits of the population. However, participation in the SOM survey is voluntary.

In the SOM survey, everybody’s responses are equally important! The questions are not designed to test your knowledge, but concern instead what you think and what you do. In order to study public opinion, it is just as valuable for us to know which opinions you hold as it is for us to know about the things you do not have an opinion on.

The aim of the survey is to identify phenomena and trends. It is the very breadth of topics covered in the survey that provides the unique opportunity to describe the perceptions, attitudes and habits of the people living in Sweden. We know that completing the survey may require some effort on your part, but we hope that you will find the time to answer the questions. You have plenty of time.

The results of the SOM surveys are regularly presented in books, reports and research articles. All books and reports published by the SOM Institute can be downloaded for free at:

The majority of the funding of the SOM survey comes from various research projects at Swedish universities. The SOM surveys allow researchers from different scientific fields to ask their questions in the same document. This approach enables the survey collection to be coordinated, while also increasing the possibilities for in-depth analysis. The SOM Institute also cooperates with public authorities and organisations. This demands that the questions asked have a scientific connection and are consistent with the SOM survey’s focus on issues concerning society, public opinion and the media. The de-identified responses will be made available to other researchers once the survey is finalized. At, you will find a list of the SOM Institute’s collaborative projects.

After we have received your responses, we will send you a reward as a thank you for your participation. The most prominent reward for the answers you provide, however, is that you are contributing both to Swedish research in many different fields and to our understanding of each other. You also have the opportunity to be involved in shaping the society we live in.

When the SOM survey is distributed, your address is obtained from the population register. In some instances, your phone number may be obtained from public registers. This data is only used in order to send you information about the survey. Once you have completed the survey, the combination of numbers on the front of this letter will be registered. This ensures that you will not be sent any unnecessary reminders. During the course of the survey, we do not have access to your contact details, therefore you will need to refer to the number combination on the front of this letter when contacting us. All address data will be completely deleted when the study is finalized, and only then will we compile the responses.

During the fieldwork, the University of Gothenburg is responsible for ensuring that your responses are processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). A separate personal data processing agreement has been drawn between the University of Gothenburg and the field research company Indikator. The responses are processed in such a way that they cannot be accessed by unauthorised parties. During the fieldwork period, you have the right to request the deletion or rectification of your personal data, or to access your personal data. The responses to the questionnaire are de-identified at the end of the fieldwork period, and thereby cease to be classed as personal data as they can no longer be traced back to any individual. The responses are then presented at group level, no individuals can be identified. The study has been approved by the Swedish Ethical Review Authority. If you have any questions concerning the SOM survey’s processing of personal data, please contact or the University of Gothenburg’s Data Protection Officer at

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For more information, please contact us

031-786 3055