The Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC) is a set of three related classifications - Type of Activity (ToA), Fields of Research (FoR) and Socio-Economic Objective (SEO).

The classifications have been developed for use in the measurement and analysis of research and experimental development. In New Zealand ANZSRC is used by government, funding agencies such as the Royal Society Te Apārangi, Crown Research Institutes, universities and independent research organisations, and allows the comparison of research and development data between sectors of the economy.

A recent 2 year review of ANZSRC was led by a project comprising the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Stats NZ, the Australian Research Council (ARC)(external link) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).(external link) The review was undertaken to update the classification to reflect changes in research and development activity that have occurred since the joint classification was first released in 2008.

The review has resulted in ANZSRC 2020, which includes new Divisions for Indigenous studies (in Fields of Research) and Indigenous (in Socio-Economic Objectives), as well as newly defined FoR Divisions for Biomedical and Clinical Sciences and Health Sciences and newly defined SEO Divisions for Environmental Management and Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards.

The ANZSRC Review Outcomes Paper details the review process and outcomes including a summary of changes. Note: Section 5 of the Outcomes Paper has been revised, and additional detail has been added for clarity.

Specifically the changes include:

  • New Divisions have been created for Indigenous research in both the Socio-Economic Objectives (SEO) and Fields of Research (FoR) classifications. Indigenous research has been a focus of this review, involving significant engagement with Indigenous research communities in New Zealand and Australia. Indigenous research being classified appropriately will ensure that this important area of research is better recognised.
  • Medical and Health Sciences has been divided into two more focused Divisions in the new FoR classification, and the Technology Division has been removed, in line with advice from researchers and users of the classification.
  • The Sector level of the SEO classification has been removed to streamline the classification. The original Environment division has been divided into two more focussed Divisions (Environmental management and Environmental policy, climate change and natural hazards) in the new SEO classification, also in line with advice from researchers and users of the classification.

The outcome from this review is the development of an updated, accurate statistical classification system with sufficient robustness to allow for long-term usage and implementation.

More information on the review process

The ANZSRC 2020 classifications can be found in Stats NZ’s classification management system Aria as follows:

Field of Research V2(external link)

Socio-Economic Objective V2(external link)

Type of Activity V2(external link)

Differences between the previous and new versions (also on Aria):

Field of Research V1-2(external link)

Socio Economic Activity V1-2(external link)

Last updated: 16 July 2020