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Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

A statistical classification used for the measurement and analysis of R&D in Australia and New Zealand

Reference period
2020

Background and review

ANZSRC background

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC) is a set of three related classifications developed for use in the measurement and analysis of research and experimental development (R&D) statistics in Australia and New Zealand. The three classifications are: 

  • Type of Activity (ToA);
  • Fields of Research (FoR); and
  • Socio-Economic Objectives (SEO).

ANZSRC allows the comparison of R&D data between the two countries and the rest of the world between different sectors of the economy e.g. general government, private non-profit organisations, businesses enterprises and educational institutions.

ANZSRC 2008 was jointly developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and StatsNZ.

ANZSRC review

A review of ANZSRC was undertaken to ensure the classification reflects current practice and to improve coverage, coherence and consistency across the classification. Subsequently, ANZSRC 2020 has been jointly developed by the ABS, Stats NZ, the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and replaces ANZSRC 2008.

As part of this review process and development of ANZSRC 2020, many academic and research professionals, research organisations, government agencies, professional associations and peak industry bodies across Australia and New Zealand were consulted. Targeted consultation was also conducted with Indigenous discipline experts and peak bodies. The ABS gratefully acknowledges the assistance provided by these individuals and organisations.

The ABS would like to thank members of the Australian Expert Reference Group (ERG) and the New Zealand Working Group for providing guidance to the ANZSRC Review project team; and ARC for its financial and in-kind contributions.

More information on the ANZSRC Review is available at https://www.arc.gov.au/anzsrc-review

Changes between ANZSRC 2008 and ANZSRC 2020

There have been significant updates across all components of ANZSRC between the 2008 and 2020 iterations of the classification. This includes:

  • updates to ToA definitions;
  • the removal of the Sector level of SEO;
  • addition and splitting of FoR categories (including at Division level to create new Divisions such as Biomedical and clinical sciences);
  • deletion and merging of FoR categories (including at Division level to remove Divisions such as Technology);
  • addition and splitting of SEO categories (including at Division level to create new Divisions such as Environmental policy, climate change and natural hazards);
  • deletion and merging of SEO categories;
  • the alphabetisation of Divisions, Groups, Fields/Objectives; and
  • the introduction of a new code pattern for FoR and SEO (to avoid user confusion between ANZSRC 2008 and ANZSRC 2020).
     

Concepts and structure

Components of ANZSRC

ANZSRC is comprised of three classifications: 

  • Type of Activity (ToA);
  • Fields of Research (FoR); and
  • Socio-Economic Objectives (SEO).

Explanatory notes and guidelines for classifying by each are available in the datacubes under the Data downloads section.

ToA allows R&D to be categorised according to the type of research effort. It is a flat classification with four categories:

  • pure basic research;
  • strategic basic research;
  • applied research; and
  • experimental development.

FoR allows R&D activity to be categorised according to common knowledge domains and/or methodologies used in the R&D. FoR is a hierarchical classification and includes three levels: Divisions (at the broadest level), Groups and Fields (at the finest level). This structure is illustrated in the following example:

Hierarchical levelField of Research
Division31 Biological sciences
Group3103 Ecology
Field310301 Behavioural ecology

SEO allows R&D to be categorised according to the intended purpose or outcome of the R&D as perceived by the data provider or researcher. SEO is a hierarchical classification and includes three levels: Divisions (at the broadest level), Groups and Objectives (at the finest level). This structure is illustrated in the following example:

Hierarchical level                   Socio-Economic Objectives
Division20 Health
Group2003 Provision of health and support services
Objective200307 Nursing

Use of ANZSRC

ANZSRC is a set of three related classifications developed for use in the measurement and analysis of research and experimental development (R&D) undertaken in Australia and New Zealand.

To assist users to understand the detailed structure and content of ANZSRC, and to assist in interpreting statistics classified to it, the following information has been provided:

  • references to the conceptual basis of ANZSRC;
  • description of the principal differences between ANZSRC 2008 and ANZSRC 2020;
  • correspondences between ANZSRC 2008 and ANZSRC 2020;
  • correspondences between ANZSRC and NABS, and ANZSRC and FORD;
  • explanation of the classification structure and codes; and
  • inclusion of ANZSRC definitions and explanatory notes (within the attached datacubes).

StatsNZ makes ANZSRC available in its concept and classification management system, Ariâ. Users can download ANZSRC in additional formats to the Excel datacubes published by the ABS.

A high level of comparability has been maintained with ANZSRC 2008 in an effort to minimise disruption to data collection. The framework and conceptual basis of ANZSRC has been strengthened to improve coverage, coherence and consistency. Significant improvements have been made to the classification to capture emerging areas of research.

To support international comparisons, it is important for the classification to relate to those used in other countries, particularly those countries whose stages of social and economic development are similar to that of Australia and New Zealand. Therefore, the definition, scope and classification of R&D activities contained in ANZSRC largely follow the guidelines prescribed in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Frascati Manual 2015: Guidelines for Collecting and Reporting Data on Research and Experimental Development, The Measurement of Scientific, Technological and Innovation Activities.

Definition of R&D

R&D is defined according to the OECD standard as comprising creative and systematic work undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge - including knowledge of humankind, culture and society - and to devise new applications of available knowledge. For further information on R&D definitions and classification of its components, refer directly to Frascati Manual 2015: Guidelines for Collecting and Reporting Data on Research and Experimental Development, The Measurement of Scientific, Technological and Innovation Activities.

Data downloads

Data files

Abbreviations

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ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
ANZSRCAustralian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification
ARCAustralian Research Council
FoRFields of Research
FORDFields of Research and Development
MBIEMinistry of Business, Innovation and Employment
NABSNomenclature for the Analysis and Comparison of Scientific Budgets and Programmes
NZNew Zealand
SEOSocio-Economic Objectives
ToAType of Activity

History of changes

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14/08/2020 - This update includes minor corrections to the correspondence tables that compare ANZSRC 2020 with ANZSRC 2008 to correct a small number of labels. The classification datacubes and international correspondences are not affected.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 1297.0