TECHNICAL NOTE DATA QUALITY
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:
Treatment of non-response
- 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 Research fields, Socio-economic objectives and Type of activity 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.
Non-responding businesses which reported R&D activity in the previous cycle, had data imputed based on the 2006-07 expected R&D expenditure provided in 2005-06.
Data are not imputed for non-responding businesses which have not previously reported R&D activity. These units are not expected to have significant levels of R&D activity.
Revisions to previous cycle data occur on discovery of:
- errors in previously 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).
Revisions are only applied, up to two cycles prior to the current cycle, 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.
In processing 2006-07 data, revisions were applied to 2004-05 and 2005-06 estimates. This must be taken into consideration when interpreting results, particularly when comparing estimates over time.