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Definition: General purpose data collection as activities excluded from R&D

Frascati Manual

General purpose data collection undertaken generally by government agencies to record natural, biological or social phenomena that are of general public interest or that only the government has the resources to record. Examples are routine topographical mapping; routine geological, hydrological, oceanographic, and meteorological surveying; astronomical observations. Data collection conducted solely or primarily as part of the R&D process is included in R&D (e.g. data on the paths and characteristics of particles in a nuclear reactor). The same reasoning applies to the processing and interpretation of the data. The social sciences, in particular, are very dependent on the accurate record of facts relating to society in the form of censuses, sample surveys, etc. When these are specially collected or processed for the purpose of scientific research, the cost should be attributed to research and should cover the planning, systematising etc., of the data. But data collected for other or general purposes, such as quarterly sampling of
unemployment, should be excluded even if exploited for research. Market surveys are also excluded. General purpose data collection should be excluded from R&D except where carried out solely or primarily for the purposes of an R&D project.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), "Main Definitions and Conventions for the Measurement of Research and Experimental Development (R&D). A Summary of the Frascati Manual 1993", OECD, Paris, 1994, p.15