Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation
Oslo Manual 2018
Guidelines for Collecting, Reporting and Using Data on Innovation, 4th Edition
What is innovation and how should it be measured? Understanding the scale of innovation
activities, the characteristics of innovative firms and the internal and systemic
factors that can influence innovation is a prerequisite for the pursuit and analysis
of policies aimed at fostering innovation. First published in 1992, the Oslo Manual
is the international reference guide for collecting and using data on innovation.
In this fourth edition, the manual has been updated to take into account a broader
range of innovation-related phenomena as well as the experience gained from recent
rounds of innovation surveys in OECD countries and partner economies and organisations.
The 2018 edition contains improved guidance reflecting evolving user interests and accumulated practical experience. It includes new material dedicated to supporting the measurement of innovation outside the business sector, understanding the internal and external drivers of business innovation as well as a firm’s most important innovation, and facilitating better use of innovation data for statistics and analysis.
The NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development) for the African Union is also active in promoting the use of comparable indicators in Africa.
Oslo Manual community space
A community space exists for OECD Working Party of National Experts on Science and Technology Indicators (NESTI) delegates and compilers of innovation statistics to discuss manual implementation experiences and to seek advice and support from peers, the OECD and other partnering international organisations. To request access, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Revision process and previous editions
The Oslo Manual is based on the experience gained from collecting and analysing innovation data in both OECD and EU countries and and non-member economies. The 2018 edition is the result of the collective work of NESTI, involving more than 120 experts from nearly 40 countries and international organisations. The revision took place over two and a half years and was supported by an open online consultation and discussions with various other OECD committees. The manual has been endorsed by the OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP) and the OECD Committee for Statistics and Statistical Policy (CSSP).
The manual owes its name to Norway’s capital city where in the early 1990s the OECD Working Party of National Experts on Science and Technology Indicators (NESTI) first agreed on a common approach to measure and report statistics on innovation. The manual has been revised on three occasions to address new challenges and take into account emerging user interests.