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8104.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2010-11 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/09/2012   
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TECHNICAL NOTE DATA QUALITY


NON-SAMPLING ERROR

1 Non-sampling errors may arise as a result of errors in the reporting, recording or processing of data. These errors can be introduced through inadequacies in the questionnaire, treatment of non-response, inaccurate reporting by data providers, errors in the application of survey procedures, incorrect recording of answers and errors in data capture and processing.

2 The extent to which non-sampling error affects the results is difficult to measure. 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.


Reliability of statistics

3 When interpreting the statistics in this release, the reliability and comparability of the estimates may be affected by the following specific non-sampling errors:

  • Many businesses provided estimates due to a lack of separately recorded data on R&D activity.
  • Some businesses may not have reported data as per the definition of R&D used in this survey. This is potentially a result of slight differences in the survey definition of R&D and those used in industry R&D schemes for the allocation of grants, and the AusIndustry administered R&D Tax Concession scheme for tax deductibility for specific R&D activities.
  • Data were self-classified by businesses to Type of activity, Fields of research and Socio-economic objective at the time of reporting. Some businesses may have experienced difficulty in classifying their R&D projects. The ABS makes every effort to ensure correct and consistent interpretation and reporting of these data by applying consistent processing methodologies.
  • The estimation method for R&D related overhead costs varied across businesses and reference periods.


Comparability of estimates over time

4 The comparability of estimates over time may be affected by the following changes in classifications:
  • Employment size classification groups are defined on data reported in the reference period, and as such businesses may be categorised to different employment size groups across different reference periods.
  • Businesses can also be classified to different industry divisions across survey reference periods as a consequence of structural change. See paragraphs 23 and 24 of the Explanatory Notes for more information.


Treatment of non-response

5 For non-responding businesses that had reported R&D activity in the 2009-10 survey, data for 2010-11 were imputed using previous cycle data.

6 For non-responding businesses that did not report R&D activity in the previous cycle, data were not imputed. These businesses are not expected to have significant levels of R&D activity.


REVISIONS

7 Revisions to previous cycle data occur on discovery of:
  • errors in reported data, typically a result of the specific non-sampling errors outlined in the Reliability of Statistics section above; and
  • newly identified R&D performers who indicated they had significant levels of R&D in earlier years (details are collected and used to revise previously released estimates).

8 Revisions are applied up to two cycles prior to the current cycle, but only where the impact on:
  • R&D expenditure is equal to $5 million or more;
  • Human resources devoted to R&D is equal to 25 PYE or more; or
  • Published level data is of proportional significance.

9 In processing 2010-11 data, revisions were applied to 2008-09 and 2009-10 estimates. Revisions must be taken into consideration when interpreting results, particularly when comparing estimates over time.


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