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Research classification codes

Classification codes are used to measure and report on the type of research being undertaken across Australia. You need to carefully consider and apply the codes to your research topic.

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification

The ANZSRC is the collective name for a set of classifications used in the measurement and analysis of research and experimental development undertaken in Australia and New Zealand.

There are three related classifications in the ANZSRC:

  • Fields of Research codes
  • Socio-economic Objective codes
  • Type of Activity codes

Field of Research codes

This classification allows R&D activity to be categorised according to the field of research. In this respect, it is the methodology used in the R&D that is being considered.

Socio Economic Objective codes

This classification allows R&D data to be classified according to the researcher's perceived purpose. The purpose categories take account of processes, products, health, education and other social and environmental aspects of particular interest.

Type of Activity codes

Four types of activity are recognised in this classification:

  • Pure basic research: is experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge. 
  • Strategic basic research: is experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge directed into specified broad areas in the expectation of useful discoveries. It provides the broad base of knowledge necessary for the solution to recognised practical problems.
  • Applied research: is original work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge with a specific application in view. It is undertaken to determine possible uses for the findings of basic research or to determine new ways of achieving some specific and predetermined objectives.
  • Experimental development: is systematic work, using existing knowledge gained from research or practical experience that is directed to:
  • producing new materials, products or devices; or
  • to installing new processes, systems and services; or
  • to improving substantially those already produced or installed.

Field of Education codes

Field of Education Codes are describe the principal subject matter of courses, specialisations or units of study. The FOE codes are used to report back to government, to classify completed theses, and form part of the calculation of Research Training Scheme funding.

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