Research Classifications

Field of Research (FoR) classification

Field of Research codes (FoRs) are managed by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC) and are used to categorise research, researchers and their outputs into specific disciplines. FoR codes have recently undergone review and consultation across the sector, which resulted in the release of revised and updated codes in June 2020.

These new codes have been progressively implemented across relevant systems, for example, internal facing systems such Charles Sturt Research Output (CRO), Research Master (MyResearch), and the Notice to Submit (NTS) form, and external systems such as those used by the ARC, NHMRC, and ABS.

Field of Research disciplines are divided into three ‘nested’ categories of six, four and two digits. For example:

  • the six-digit FoR code, 410102 – Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation,
  • nests into the four-digit FoR code, 4101 – Climate change impacts and adaptation,
  • which nests into the two-digit parent code, 41 – Environmental Sciences.

FoRs are assigned by researchers in the Charles Sturt University Research Output repository (CRO). When assigning FoR codes, researchers should consider:

  • Personal FoRs – Select up to three FoRs and apportion each to best reflect the focus of your research (minimum 10%, and must add up to 100%)
  • Outputs and other content FoRs – Select up to three FoRs and apportion each to best reflect the focus of the research output or activity (minimum 20%, and must add up to 100%). These FoRs do not need to be exactly the same as the personal FoRs.

Note that the Excellence in Research for Australia program (ERA) uses the four-digit FoR level. However, researchers should apply six-digit codes (where appropriate) to increase specificity.

Strategic priorities

When selecting FoR codes for your research, consider alignment of FoR codes with Faculty, School and Research Centre strategic research priorities and pathways, if appropriate.

You can download the 2020 FoR codes spreadsheet, or visit the Stats NZ interactive version if you prefer. Both versions contain definitions and exclusions information to assist you in understanding how to best classify your research.

The CRO Guide offers further information on how to add FoR codes to content within CRO.

Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) classification

The ANZSRC Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) classification allows Research & Development activity in Australia and New Zealand to be categorised according to the intended purpose or outcome of the research rather than the processes or techniques used in order to achieve this objective. The purpose categories include processes, products, health, education and other social and environmental aspects in Australia and New Zealand that R&D activity aims to improve.

A purpose classification such as the SEO provides a set of categories which collectively exhaust all the objectives of research. In this respect, the scope of the SEO is more extensive than a classification of economic activities such as the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), because not all Research & Development  has an economic motive or context.

The University is required to report on SEOs, for example in the reporting of research expenditure to the Australian Bureau of statistics.

SEOs are assigned by Researchers and Principal Supervisors of Higher Degree by Research Students.

You can download the 2020 SEO codes spreadsheet, or visit the Stats NZ interactive version if you prefer. Both versions contain definitions and exclusions information to assist you in understanding how to best classify your research.