Readings in Nomenclatures


Revised System of International Classifications

by Norbert Rainer (Statistics Austria)
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This document is presently under revision
Basic principles for the development, use, maintenance and revision of international standard statistical classifications (United Nations)
by Eivind Hoffmann, Bureau of Statistics, International Labour Office and Mary Chamie, United Nations Statistics Division
     hyperlink to United Nations Web siteEN 
Harmonisation of economic statistical classifications and related transformations
Paper presented in June 2001 by Haralambos Papageorgiou, Maria Vardaki, Michalis Petrakos, Eirini Theodorou and Fragkiskos Pentaris (University of Athens) at the second International seminar on the Exchange of Technology and Know-how held jointly with the fourth NTTS seminar, New Techniques and Technologies for Statistics
     PDF format - zipped file, 10 pages, file size: 240 KB: EN   
Essai sur les nomenclatures industrielles (Essay on industrial classifications)
by Bernard GUIBERT, Jean LAGANIER, Michel VOLLE ("Économie et statistique", n° 20, février 1971)
     HTML format  EN FR 
     Word format - zipped files, 23 pages, file size: 32 KB: EN FR  
Model-based measures of homogeneity
by V. Bayram, A.H. Kroese, P. Struijs & A.J. Willeboordse (Statistics Netherlands)
     Word format - zipped file, 38 pages, file size: 96 KB: EN 
A model-based approach to the design and application of classification systems
by Vildan Bayram, Jacobiene van der Hoeven, Hans van Hooff, Bert Kroese, Peter Struijs and Ad Willeboordse (Statistics Netherlands)
     Word format - zipped file, 115 pages, file size: 250 KB: EN 
Abstract article by Norbert Rainer 
A thorough revision of the international statistical classifications has recently been completed, with the result that the new classifications have been developed as an integrated system of statistical classifications, whereby a) the various product classifications have been harmonized and b) the central product classifications have been related to the classifications of economic activities by the economic origin criterion. This article presents the main features of this group of harmonized international classifications: ISIC Rev.3, CPC, HS, SITC Rev.3 (global level); NACE Rev.1, CPA, CN, PRODCOM (EU level).
Abstract paper presented at ETK - NTTS seminar
The existence of a variety of classifications and nomenclatures as well as their revisions raises the problem of compatibility and comparability of data collected and provided to international organisations and Eurostat during the years. This paper aims to examine the classifications currently used in various areas and to develop an expressive diagram exemplifying the relationships between a large number of nomenclatures and revisions of international or national use. Furthermore, their conversion - at a certain level of aggregation - into NACE Rev.1 is illustrated and the development of an appropriate Quality Frame (QF) is developed. Furthermore, the components of related Source Frames (SF) are examined and their relation to QF via source mapping procedures is discussed. Finally, a case study is provided to exemplify the application of the theoretical concepts developed.
Abstract paper "Essai sur les nomenclatures industrielles"  
Without classifications there can be no economic analysis. Only a classification can give precise enough meaning to the terms that crop up so often in economic reports ¾ "textile industry", "furnishings", "steel industry" and the rest. Classifications play an absolutely crucial role, but they tend to be dismissed as tedious. The authors of this paper, who use industrial nomenclatures on a daily basis, attempt to explain and then to overcome this prejudice. Their presentation, which aims to identify the principles on which present and past classifications were built, knowingly or otherwise, would probably not be accepted by other specialists without adjustment. Its prime achievement is that of turning a supposedly disagreeable topic into an accessible, even pleasant, one.
Abstract UN paper on best practices  
This report describes best practices for the development, use, maintenance and revision of international standard statistical classifications and the corresponding derived or related national and multinational statistical classifications. Attention is drawn to the need to: (1) state goals and problems clearly; (2) identify the actors involved in the development and use of classifications (producers and users of statistics); (3) identify the injunctions which follow from legislation and government policies; (4) describe how the structure and details of the classification are used when producing and presenting statistics; (5) understand the use of statistics produced with the classification; (6) establish monitoring mechanisms for proper feedback from classifications users about problems in its use; (7) maintain a timetable to draft, update or revise the classification; (8) coordinate the process with work on other classifications; and (9) set standards for dissemination of the classification and its related updates and revisions.
Abstract paper by Statistics Netherlands on "Model-based measures of homogeneity"  
One part of the European research project Clamour concerns the development and evaluation of measures of homogeneity for activity classification systems based on an earlier developed model describing the structure and activities of businesses. The model can be used to derive statistical units, to code according to existing activity classification systems and to develop activity classification systems. This report focuses on the notion of homogeneity and the many appearances it can have. Of all homogeneity types the most relevant ones for designing and maintaining activity classification systems are defined. Besides definitions of most relevant homogeneity types, measures for each of them are developed. The importance of defining measures to measure the homogeneity of activity classification systems is obvious. Existing activity classification systems need to be adjusted from time to time as the economy changes. Homogeneity measures provide essential information about the state of a classification system and reveal the points at which the classification system needs to be adjusted.
Abstract paper by Statistics Netherlands on "A model-based approach to the design and application of classification systems" 
One part of the European research project Clamour concerns the design and operationalisation of activity classification systems on the basis of an earlier developed model describing the structure and activities of businesses. This report describes the results of that part of Clamour. The use of the model in the field of activity classifications has two sides: it supports the specification and implemention of existing classification systems and it provides for a recipe for the design of new classification systems, either single or multiple. Both applications are discussed on the basis of a conceptual framework making use of classification principles. After elaborating on the model and the conceptual framework, the report presents an overview of a number of activity classifications currently in use, viz. the North-American NAICS, the UN ISIC, the EU NACE and the Dutch SBI. Next, the report analyses which requirements user needs, as derived from EU-regulations and surveys, put on activity classification systems and coding methods. After these introductory issues, the report shows how the (simplified version of) the model supports statisticians in making more precise definitions of categories, and in coding statistical units in a more consistent and objective way. Thus, the model can be said to contribute to international harmonisation of statistics. The report then proceeds with a recipe for the design of a single activity classification sytem, followed by an investigation of the possibilities, the benefits and the drawbacks of multiple activity classification systems. Up till now single systems prevail, and not without reason.