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QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY
Every effort is made to minimise non-sampling error by careful design and testing of the collection instrument, the use of efficient operating procedures and systems, and the use of appropriate methodologies.
For the Business sector, reliability and comparability of R&D statistics may be affected by the following specific non-sampling errors:
Revisions to previous cycle data occur on discovery of:
Revisions are applied up to two cycles prior to the current cycle, but only where the impact on:
Users are advised to refer to the most recently released data cubes (which can be found on the Downloads page of this release), as revisions must be taken into consideration when interpreting results, particularly when comparing estimates over time.
While every effort is made to ensure that all in-scope businesses are included in the survey, complete coverage cannot be guaranteed. The 2008-09 Survey of R&D, Businesses achieved a response rate of 95%.
There are no other data sources with which ABS R&D data for the Business sector can be directly compared. However, some observations can be made which suggest the survey outputs give a reasonable indication of real world expectations and events. For example, trends in R&D survey data aligning with trends in values claimed, or intending to be claimed, through the R&D Tax Concession Scheme.
While the ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to the survey, sound survey practice requires ongoing development to maintain the integrity of the data, its relevance to the changing needs of users and the efficiency of the collection.
Comparability of R&D estimates for the Business sector over time may have been affected by changes in imputation methods, concepts, data item definitions and classifications. For example, ABS R&D collections use classifications specific to R&D which are periodically updated. From the 2007-08 cycle, Type of activity, Field of research (FOR) and Socio-economic objective (SEO) data have been collected and compiled based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008 (cat. no. 1297.0). Prior to this, these data were based on the Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC). The introduction of updated classifications represent a break in the relevant time series.
R&D as collected by the ABS is defined in accordance with the OECD standard as 'creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications'.
The ABS Survey of R&D also uses classifications specific to R&D: results presented in this release are based on ANZSRC 2008.
Data providers self-classify R&D expenditure based on their interpretation of OECD/ABS definitions. The ABS makes every effort to ensure correct and consistent interpretation and reporting of these data and applies consistent processing methodologies. See also the Reliability of Statistics and Revisions sections of the Technical Note.
Further important contextual information, to be considered when interpreting the results presented in this release, is provided in the Explanatory Notes (including the Technical Note and Glossary).
Additionally, for a more comprehensive interpretation of the definitions and classifications relating to R&D activity, refer to:
Findings from the Survey of R&D, Businesses are available in both web and pdf format. In addition to main features (which include key findings commentary) resulting from the Survey of R&D, Businesses, data at more detailed levels and time series data (in spreadsheet format) are included on the ABS website free of charge. For the pdf version o the results and the spreadsheets of data, see the Downloads page of this issue.
Links to other data releases relating to the ABS Survey of R&D can be found on the ABS website, via the Innovation, Science and Technology theme page under Topics @ a Glance/Industry.
If the information you require is not available as a standard product, inquiries can be made by contacting the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Fiona Manson on (08) 9360 5213.
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