Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.25, No.4, 2009. pp. 467482

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Research and Development in Official Statistics and Scientific Co-operation with Universities: A Follow-Up Study

This article summarizes the main results of a follow-up survey of National Statistical Institutes concerning two related aspects: (a) Research and Development (R&D) work within an agency, and (b) scientific co-operation of a National Statistical Institute with the universities. The initial survey was carried out in 1999/2000 and the follow-up in 2006. We concentrated for the aspect (a) on the infrastructure available for R&D within an agency, and for (b) on networking and similar co-operation arrangements of National Statistical Institutes with universities. The levels of R&D infrastructure and of R&D networking were measured by means of summary indicators constructed from the questionnaire items. Both indicators show that a large variation exists between National Statistical Institutes (and groups of such institutes). A high level of infrastructure often accompanied a high level of networking. When both levels were high, the chances of a successful implementation of research results into the production of statistics were improved. However, the incidence of successful implementation is lower than desirable. In National Statistical Institutes of European Union countries, the levels of both infrastructure and networking were improved between the survey years. The results of the 2006 survey show an increasing use of the agency’s anonymized microdata files by researchers located outside the agency. This was found to hold for the National Statistical Institutes of the EU countries in particular. A total of 41 agencies (80%) responded to the 2000 survey and 44 agencies (85%) to the 2006 survey.

Research and development, R&D infrastructure, forms of networking, university disciplines, implementing research results, use of agency’s microdata

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