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1504.0 - Methodological News, Jun 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/03/2004   
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ENGAGING THE RESEARCH COMMUNITY

The ABS is keen to work closely with researchers in universities, government agencies and other organisations. The benefits are many, including - obtaining professional review of ABS methods and products, encouraging greater use of our statistics and a better appreciation of how they are collected or constructed, gaining access to technical skills and knowledge, and improving our understanding of how data are used in research.
Methodology Division (MD) has a particular responsibility to build partnerships with nonABS researchers in the fields of survey design, time series methods and other analyses. We use a variety of means to build such bridges, including the following:

  • ABS advisory groups. The Methodology Advisory Committee (MAC), for example, has drawn its membership from universities, sibling statistical agencies, other government bodies and the private sector. MAC meets twice a year to provide advice on techniques and research strategies useful to ABS survey designs and analyses. NonABS researchers are also members of other groups, including the Australian Statistical Advisory Council and the committees that advise on developments in economic and social statistics.
  • Collaborative projects. MD undertakes collaborative work with nonABS researchers, often under the umbrella of Australian Research Council "linkage grants". Our collaborations include research into: analyses of productivity at the macro and micro level; construction of temporal and spatial price indexes; the interaction between survey design and time series analysis; and the analysis of business demographics.
  • Project boards and peer review. For almost all of our analysis projects, and for many other statistical projects, we recruit nonABS researchers to our project boards (to guide our choice of analytical questions and research strategies) and our peer review panels (to vet our application of methods, our handling of data and the plausibility of our findings).

During the coming year or so, we are experimenting with a variety of other means for engaging nonABS researchers, such as hosting thematic workshops or Web-based discussion forums on emerging methodological issues.

For more information, please contact Ken Tallis : (02) 6252 7290.

E-mail : ken.tallis@abs.gov.au

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