Science and technology policy

Research and Development Statistics (RDS)


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The 2014 edition of Research and Development Statistics (RDS), released in April, provides a wide range of recent data on the resources devoted to R&D in all OECD countries and selected non-member economies.


Data sources

RDS is based on the data reported to OECD and Eurostat in the framework of the joint OECD/Eurostat international data collection on resources devoted to R&D.

Dataset coverage

The statistical series published start from 1981 and cover the following fields:

A first set of tables deals with gross domestic expenditure on research and experimental development (GERD). This covers all R&D carried out on a national territory in the year concerned using various breakdowns. R&D expenditure data are expressed in million national currency, million current PPP$, and million constant $ (2005 prices and PPPs).

The second set covers resources devoted to R&D measured in labour terms, i.e. R&D personnel by sector of employment and various breakdowns.  R&D personnel data are expressed in full time equivalents on R&D (FTE) and in headcounts.

Datasets on R&D expenditure and personnel are also provided for R&D carried out in the business enterprise sector with detailed data by industry or size class. Additionally R&D in the higher education and private non-profit sectors are also available with detailed data by field of science or type of costs.


The R&D expenditure and personnel tables are based on surveys of the units carrying out the R&D and national estimates and forecasts have been included when available. More up to date information on government intentions or objectives when committing money to R&D can be derived from budgets. These data are shown in the government budget appropriations or outlays for RD (GBAORD) table, which includes the breakdown of government R&D budgets by socio economic objective (SEO).


Quality control and international comparability

  • R&D data are collected at a national level through surveys and other sources following the recommendations of the OECD Frascati Manual, which is the internationally recognised standard in this area (
  • Data are then submitted by national contacts to the OECD (in co-ordination with Eurostat for EU countries) and reviewed in order to ensure consistency
  • Countries are also required to provide detailed metadata in order to identify and assess any deviations from the Frascati guidelines
  • When data are disseminated, flags are used to provide information on specific series and datapoints.

Related links and further reading