The Fields of Research (FOR) classification is a component of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC) system, developed in 2008. It allows all R&D activity to be categorized using a single system. In this respect, it is the methodology used in the R&D that is being considered. The system is hierarchical, with major fields subdivided into minor fields.
The ANZSRC is used in all areas of research and education in Australia and New Zealand. It is used to classify research projects, research outputs, staff-skills and course content (including PhDs). There are three inter-linked classification types: Type of Activity (TOA), Fields of Research (FOR), and Socio-economic Objective (SEO). Only FOR is present in Dimensions.
The FOR has three hierarchical levels: Divisions, Groups and Fields. Division represents a broad subject area or research discipline, while Groups and Fields represent increasingly detailed subsets of these categories. There are 22 Divisions, 157 Groups and 1238 Fields.
We have emulated the second level of the system only (Groups) in Dimensions. We have used a reverse engineering technique, based on machine learning, where a corpus of manually coded grants are examined and the manual codes applied are reproduced by the algorithm. This is then checked against actual codes, and changes made to improve the algorithm.
The Fields of Research cover all areas of academic research at a high level, so it works well for non-granular investigations into funding by broad subject areas. Therefore, FOR is good for comparative analyses across all academia at a fairly high level.