The Statistics on R&D activities in the Higher Education sector arose for the purpose of measuring the economic and human resources (inputs) earmarked for these activities, to meet a dual objective:
- To provide a tool for the management, planning, decision and control, with regard to national scientific policy.
- To provide statistical institutions with the information that they request, obtained in accordance with international regulations which facilitate comparability between various countries.
The methodology follows the recommendations set out by the OECD in the Frascati Manual https://www.oecd.org/sti/inno/frascati-manual.htm, which is one of the pillars for better understanding the role of science and technology. Moreover, it provides internationally-accepted R&D definitions and classifications.
The units of analysis are grouped by sector, whose content is largely based on the National Accounts System, with the difference being that Higher Education has been considered an independent sector.
Further information on the statistics methodology may be obtained at:http://ine.es/dyngs/INEbase/es/operacion.htm?c=Estadistica_C&cid=1254736176754&menu=metodologia&idp=1254735576669
This includes those centres whose main activity is that of providing higher education or that have their R&D activities under the direct control of, or administered by, tertiary education institutions, regardless of its legal nature, whether public or private, throughout the national territory.
The statistical unit is the university or higher education centre or research organisation the R&D of which is controlled by
higher education institutions
Those universities and centres that teach higher education, and that carry out research and experimental development activities in any scientific field, and those centres that have their R&D activities under the direct control of, or administered by, tertiary
education institutions. And which are located within the national territory.
This includes all of Spain.
The statistics are carried out annually.
There are results available as of reference year 1969.
The Statistics on R&D Activities in the Higher Education sector have results available on R&D activities as of reference year 2002 (including, for the first time, other higher-education establishments). The year 2002 is the base period.
Economic data are provided in thousand euros.
R&D personnel data are provided in headcount and in full-time equivalence.
The main reference period of these statistics is the year immediately prior to the year that the data is collected. For the expenditure feature, the reference period will be the calendar year. With regard to personnel, in order to determine the number of persons who work in R&D, the statistics use both the annual average and the full-time equivalence of the personnel who carry out R&D activities (persons/year).
Data referred to the period: Anual A: 2019
The compilation and dissemination of the data are governed by the Statistical Law No. 12/1989 "Public Statistical Function" of May 9, 1989, and Law No. 4/1990 of June 29 on “National Budget of State for the year 1990" amended by Law No. 13/1996 "Fiscal, administrative and social measures" of December 30, 1996, makes compulsory all statistics included in the National Statistics Plan. The National Statistical Plan 2009-2012 was approved by the Royal Decree 1663/2008. It contains the statistics that must be developed in the four year period by the State General Administration's services or any other entity dependent on it. All statistics included in the National Statistics Plan are statistics for state purposes and are obligatory. The National Statistics Plan 2017-2020, approved by Royal Decree 410/2016, of 31 October, is the Plan currently implemented. This statistical operation has governmental purposes, and it is included in the National Statistics Plan 2017-2020. (Statistics of the State Administration).
"European Parliament and Council Decision no. 1608/2003/EC, of 22 July 2003, relating to the production and development of community statistics on science and technology" https://www.ine.es/normativa/leyes/UE/minine.htm#30060
They are carried out in collaboration with the Autonomous Communities.
The questionnaire sent to the collaborating units notifies that "The personal information obtained by the statistical services, both directly from the respondents and from administrative sources, will be subject to protection and are covered by statistical secrecy (Article 13.1 of the Law on Public Statistical Services of May 9 1989, (LFEP)). All statistical personnel has the obligation of preserving statistical secrecy (Article 17.1 of the LFEP)”.
The data is disseminated annually.
The results of the statistics are disseminated via the INE website, and some results are included in publications, such as the Statistical Yearbook, INE Figures, etc.
INEbase is the system the INE uses to store statistical information on the Internet. It contains all the information the INE produces in electronic formats. The primary organisation of the information follows the theme-based classification of the Inventory of Statistical Operations of the State General Administration . The basic unit of INEbase is the statistical operation, defined as the set of activities that lead to obtaining statistical results on a determined sector or subject based on the individually collected data. Also included in the scope of this definition are synthesis preparation.
The link that permits access to the online database is the following:
The microdata from the statistics is not available.
There is the possibility of requesting customised information from the INE User Care Department. At the time of processing said requests, limitations regarding confidentiality or precision are borne in mind.
A detailed description is available at:
Based on Regulation no. 995/2012, the European Commission (Eurostat) assessing the quality of the data transmitted, and publishes reports regarding the quality of European statistics. To this end, within the 20 months following the end of the year, each country provides a quality report.
Fields 10.7 to 17 from this document are the quality report targeting users for this operation.
Quality assurance framework for the INE statistics is based on the ESSCoP, the European Statistics Code of Practice made by EUROSTAT. The ESSCoP is made up of 16 principles, gathered in three areas: Institutional Environment, Processes and Products. Each principle is associated with some indicators which make possible to measure it. In order to evaluate quality, EUROSTAT provides different tools: the indicators mentioned above, Self-assessment based on the DESAP model, peer review, user satisfaction surveys and other proceedings for evaluation.
In order to guarantee quality information, the information received is processed, following the steps listed below:
- Control and manual filtering of the questionnaires by the units involved in the information collection, with the objective of recovering the possible lack of data or correcting errors in the questionnaires before they are recorded.
- Interactive recording, with filtering and correction of errors in the information obtained by the unit responsible for the statistics.
- Control of the information received by the unit responsible for the statistics.
- Control of the scope and processing of identification errors.
- Validation of the quality of the information.
- Imputation of partial non-response.
- Filtering and interactive correction of inconsistencies in the validated information.
- Preparation of a first phase of results analysis tables.
- Macro-publishing of the main aggregates to correct the errors not detected in the previous micro-filtering phase.
- Data analysis.
- Creation of the final data file.
- Obtaining final results tables in the unit responsible for the statistics, compiled from the final data file.
Among the main strong points of these statistics are the following:
1) Rapid collection, analysis and publication of the results of the latter are carried out within the 11 months following the end of the reference period. (*)
(*) Exceptionally, the data for 2013 was published 13 months after the end of the reference period.
2) As these statistics have been compiled since the year 1969, a comprehensive monitoring of the data can be performed, in such a way that possible inconsistencies therein can be detected, as well as obtaining a time series that is consistent over time.
3) In recent years, an effort has been made to collect the information via electronic questionnaires, thus enabling their completion.
4) Obtaining high response rates.
Survey users include the following:
· Ministries and other public bodies.
· Territorial administrations (Autonomous Communities, municipal councils, etc.).
· Companies and non-profit institutions.
· Researchers and universities.
Each of the users has different needs, according to the destination and use of the information they require.
Among user uses, worth noting is the "Annual Report: Technology and Innovation in Spain", published by COTEC, using the data provided by the INE. On an international level, each year, the OECD prepares the Main Science and Technology Indicators publication, which includes information regarding R&D on an international level, and Eurostat periodically publishes information on a European level.
The INE has carried out general user satisfaction surveys in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 and it plans to continue doing so every three years. The purpose of these surveys is to find out what users think about the quality of the information of the INE statistics and the extent to which their needs of information are covered. In addition, additional surveys are carried out in order to acknowledge better other fields such as dissemination of the information, quality of some publications...
On the INE website, in its section Methods and Projects / Quality and Code of Practice / INE quality management / User surveys are available surveys conducted to date.(Click next link)
In the User Satisfaction Surveys conducted to date, it is possible to view the evaluation of the sector Sciencie and Technology in which this statistical operation is centred, which can help direct us with regard to user opinions of it.
The Statistics on R&D activities meet all the requirements established in the national and international regulations related to science and technology statistics.
Said statistics are governed by Commission Regulation no. 995/2012, of 26 October 2012. Therefore, the rate of statistical information supplied is R1=100%.
The statistics are designed to attain a high degree of reliability and accuracy of the data obtained.
The different processes to which the statistics are subjected, from the design thereof, until the final results (scope, collection, error filtering, imputation of non-response, etc.) are obtained, are oriented to obtaining the highest degree of statistical reliability.
Given that the statistics in the Higher Education sector are a census operation, there are no sampling errors.
A control of non-sampling errors is carried out throughout the statistical process. Two types of errors are examined:
Errors of congruence (very high veriations with respect last year, lack of mandatory data, incorrect sums, ...)
Errors of range (invalid valor of variables)
Specific information regarding the non-response rate is also available.
Unit non-response rate: A4=4,41%
The data from the statistics is published at the end of the year following that of the information reference year.
(time bracket until the publication of the final data) TP2=11 months
The dissemination of the data is performed in accordance with the structural statistics availability calendar that the INE prepares and publishes for each year.
The availability of a common methodology, design and process for collection, filtering, editing and elevation throughout the geographical scope, guarantees the comparability of the results among the different Autonomous Communities. On the other hand, the methodological adaptation to Commission Regulation no. 995/2012, of 26 October 2012, makes comparability possible with the remaining European Union countries.
In line with the Frascati Manual, the methodology applied since the implementation of these statistics allows for their comparability over time.
There are CC2=18 comparable elements for the time series of the R&D expenditure and personnel variable.
The data collected by the statistics does not allow for comparison with other domains or sources, due to the absence thereof.
Regarding the different sectors (Companies, Public Administrations, Higher Education, PNPI) for which the INE collects information, the data provided by the statistics on the Higher Education Sector is coherent with the statistics for the remaining sectors, as the standardised international regulations in the Frascati Manual, and which are extensively used on an international level, are implemented in each one of them.
Coherence is a fundamental matter, both in the planning of the survey methodology and in all of its preparation process. Coherence between variables is contrasted during all phases of the statistical process.
The statistics are 100% coherent on an internal level (for example, arithmetic and accounting identities are observed)
The estimation of the budgetary credit necessary to finance the Statistics on R&D Activities (companies,
public administration, higher education and PNPI) expected in the 2020 Annual Programme is 226,46 thousand euros.
The use of electronic (online) questionnaires has been implemented in order to facilitate the completion thereof, and decrease the response burden.
The INE of Spain has a policy which regulates the basic aspects of statistical data revision, seeking to ensure process transparency and product quality. This policy is laid out in the document approved by the INE board of directors on 13 March of 2015, which is available on the INE website, in the section "Methods and projects/Quality and Code of Practice/INE’s Quality management/INE’s Revision policy" (link).
This general policy sets the criteria that the different type of revisions should follow: routine revision- it is the case of statistics whose production process includes regular revisions-; more extensive revision- when methodological or basic reference source changes take place-; and exceptional revision- for instance, when an error appears in a published statistic-.
On Statistics on R & D, there are only extraordinary revisions which are due to errors detected once the data has been published.
There has been no situation which would lead to the revision of data, both methodological as extraordinary items.
The data is obtained form the questionnaire submitted by the public and private regulated higher education centres and those that have their R&D activities under the direct control of, or administered by, tertiary education institutions.
There are two questionnaire models: one for universities, and the other for other higher education centres. The former collects specific data on the university, such as annual budget, personnel distribution by professional category: professor, lecturer, doctoral assistants, university school qualification-holders, associates, etc., distribution of R&D financing, bearing in mind the general State funds, etc., whereas the latter model meets Private non-profit institutions sector, which is used for all centres that are not universities
The data is collected once a year, during the period from Abril to September.
In this sense, the OECD and Eurostat recommend the collection of R&D data at least during the odd reference years, although in some countries, amongst them Spain, it has been carried out annually.
The method to collect information is via e-mail. Firstly, an Excel questionnaire, a presentation letter and the instructions are sending to everyone from e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org). Statistical units sector must fill in the questionnaire and send it to the same e-mail address, with a significant telephone support for the collection thereof. Once the questionnaire is received, it is possible to communicate with the respondent vía telephone or e-mail, in order to answer queries and/or correct questionnaire errors.
The initial stage of the statistics information processing coincides with the collection fieldwork, and is carried out in parallel with the duration of the data collection. The articulated system is centred on the following main aspects: a continuous updating process; a filtering of the questionnaire content, integrated in the recording.
The recording and filtering of the questionnaires is carried out continuously by the same collection units responsible for the collection thereof, establishing the control regulations necessary to guarantee a suitable quality level for the whole process. Already in this phase, this facilitates controlling the errors that may affect the data obtained from the respondent units.
Once the data is received, in electronic format, by the unit responsible for the survey, an information coverage control is carried out, for the purpose of guaranteeing the completeness of the recorded data, detecting duplicities and coverage errors, and at the same time, being able to make a first assessment regarding the quality of the variables collected in the questionnaires. This phase is carried out prior to the compilation of the complete file for the statistics, and therefore, at the beginning of the joint information processing.
During the micro-filtering process, the detection and filtering of errors and inconsistencies in the identification variables of each register are carried out, as well as the filtering and imputation of content errors. The imputations and content errors are not performed automatically, but the parameters used for their calculation are calculated automatically.
In the macro-filtering phase, different analysis tables are obtained that enable detecting and eliminating those errors and inconsistencies that were not detected in the micro-filtering (change in the type of administration, sector, type of research, scientific discipline).
Given the annual nature of the statistics, no seasonal adjustment is performed.