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ECPR General Conference 2020, University of Innsbruck

The Swiss Metadatabase of Religious Affiliation in Europe (SMRE) – a Crowd Research Project

Europe (Central and Eastern)
European Union
Anastas Odermatt
University of Lucerne
Anastas Odermatt
University of Lucerne

Religion and its role in European societies has become a prominent topic of public and scientific debate. The different Christian traditions, the religious transformation in different European countries and the status of immigrated religious minorities, especially of Muslims, are contested. Consequently, statistics on religious affiliation are frequently used (or mis-used) as political arguments. At the same time, these data are the starting point for almost any scientific work on contemporary religion. Yet, serious data problems are unsolved especially when it comes to Western Europe.
The «Swiss Metadatabase of Religious Affiliation in Europe (SMRE)» has been set up to change this situation. Its newly designed web-application is now available at It is based on a crowd research-approach and pursue an open data approach with high transparency of data processing. There are interactive templates for data input and interactive tools for data retrieval and data analysis. It includes a multitude of data sets and original data sources covering data for 50 European countries in two periods of reporting, namely 2000 (1996-2005) and 2010 (2006-2015).
The paper will introduce the SMRE, its theoretical methodology and its technical structure. It will present the newly developed web interface as a means of crowd researching and will discuss the theoretical and technical problems involved to aggregate various data and to provide detailed information on these data and processes.

Anastas Odermatt, University of Lucerne, SMRE-Project
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