Scientific Activities of Provincial Research Organizations, Activities in natural sciences and engineering

Detailed information for 2014





Record number:


This survey collects data which are essential to ensure the availability of pertinent statistical information to monitor science and technology related activities in Canada and to support the development of science and technology policy.

Data release - planned for the fall of 2016


This survey collects the financial and operating data which are essential to assure the availability of pertinent statistical information to monitor science and technology related activities in Canada and to support the development of science and technology policy. The data collected are used by federal and provincial science policy analysts, and are also part of the gross domestic expenditures on research and development (GERD). The information may also be used by Statistics Canada for other statistical and research purposes.

Statistical activity

Experimental R&D includes systematic creative work to increase the body of knowledge, including knowledge of people, cultures and societies, and the use of this body of knowledge to create new applications.

Science and technology (S&T) and the information society are changing the way we live, learn and work. The concepts are closely intertwined: science generates new understanding of the way the world works, technology applies it to develop innovative products and services and the information society is one of the results of the innovations.

People are looking to Statistics Canada to measure and explain the social and economic impacts of these changes.

The purpose of this program is to develop useful indicators of S&T activity in Canada and to present them coherently.


  • Research and development
  • Science and technology

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population consists of the seven provincial and territorial research organizations.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore no sampling is done.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2015-12-01 to 2016-01-08

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

The provincial research organizations are surveyed annually. All are organizations involved in scientific activities of their own respective provinces. The questionnaire is mailed out and processed for dissemination by Statistics Canada.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Data are edited to ensure internal and historical logic and consistency and analysed for trends and validity.

Each survey response is manually edited at the micro level.

The edit procedures usually consist of:

- checking each field of every record to ascertain whether it contains a valid code or entry and;
- checking codes or entries in certain predetermined combinations of fields to ascertain whether codes or entries are consistent with one another. Although there are a number of edits, all cases of failed edit checks are corrected after consideration by editors.


Missing data are imputed manually using internal ratios or previous returns.

Quality evaluation

Data quality control procedures are performed during the survey process at a micro level, and during data amalgamation to provide overall expenditures for provincial scientific and technological activities, personnel data as well as the gross expenditures on research and development. Examples of data quality procedures include year to year comparison or historical trend analysis on scientific objectives and expenditures of each provincial research organization (PRO).

Historical trend analysis is also conducted for the Provincial Research Organizations.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

When any historical revisions are necessary they are normally provided by the respondent.

Data accuracy

The main variables must be consistent with the concepts and definition of scientific activities used in all the surveys. The concepts and definitions are found in the Frascati manual which was developed by the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).

Data must reflect the period for which the scientific expenditures were incurred, to be consistent with the other surveys.

All edits must be completed, and follow-up issues resolved before the data amalgamation.

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