TECHNICAL NOTE DATA QUALITY
1 Non-sampling errors may arise as a result of errors in the reporting 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:
Treatment of non-response
- Many organisations provided estimates due to a lack of separately recorded data on R&D activity. This was most prevalent for government organisations without a specific research focus.
- Data were self-classified by organisations to Type of activity, Fields of Research and Socio-economic Objective at the time of reporting. Some organisations 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 organisations and reference periods.
For non-responding organisations that had reported R&D activity in the 2008-09 survey, data for 2011-12 were imputed using previous cycle data.
For non-responding organisations that did not report R&D activity in the previous cycle, data were not imputed. These organisations are not expected to have significant levels of R&D activity.
In processing 2011-12 data, no revisions were applied to 2008-09 estimates due to the three year gap between the collection cycles.