A glossary of terms used in the CSIRO Annual Report 2017-18.

Argo: an international program that uses profiling floats to observe temperature, salinity, currents and, recently, bio-optical properties in the Earth’s oceans. It has been operational since the early 2000s.

Awn morphology: the form and structure of awn, which are bristly or hairy extensions on plants (such as are found on rye).

Books and chapters: includes monographs, complete or individual chapters, usually published by a commercial publisher.

Conference papers: includes published conference papers and edited proceedings.

Demersal fish: fish that live on or near the bottom of seas and lakes. Demersal fish assemblages refers to the variety and abundance of demersal fish in a given waterbody.

DigiVol: a crowdsourcing platform developed by the Australian Museum in collaboration with the Atlas of Living Australia. It is used by many institutions around the world as a way of combining the efforts of many volunteers to digitise their data.

Ecosystem services: the important benefits for human beings that arise from healthily functioning ecosystems, notably production of oxygen, soil genesis and water detoxification.

Epibenthos: the community of organisms living on the sea floor between low tide and 180 metres. An epibenthic sled is an instrument designed to collect organisms from the sea floor.

Functional Areas: the range of work activities undertaken by CSIRO, grouped into broad areas as follows:

  • Research Consulting: Staff members who initiate and deliver research services for industry.
  • Research Scientist/Research Engineer: Staff members who conducts scientific research.
  • Research Management: Staff members who initiate, develop, lead and promote CSIRO’s research capability.
  • Research Projects: Staff members who perform scientific or associated work, under the broad direction of research scientists/engineers or research managers, usually by assisting with the planning and completion of the more practical aspects of the work.
  • Technical Services: Staff members providing support for scientific research in a diverse range of laboratory and field situations across a range of different research projects. This support consists of the application of accepted technical practices and the development of new practices. The work is usually carried out as a member of a centralised service.
  • General Management: Staff members who manage corporate resources or corporate policy development, facilitate the strategic development of organisational capability, and/or create opportunities, matching CSIRO’s capabilities to client needs.
  • Communication and Information: Staff members who provide information, editorial or industry liaison services either within or outside CSIRO.
  • Administrative Services: Staff members who provide administrative and management services to support the effective provision of research and development activities.
  • General Services: Staff members who provide routine site maintenance activities.
  • Specialist: Staff members whose specialist skills are in high market demand.

Granted patents: once a patent application has been examined and satisfies various patentability criteria, it becomes a granted patent. It remains a granted patent until the end of the patent period (normally 20 years), provided renewal fees are paid.

Inventions: this is the number of inventions where one or more patent/applications are current. Accordingly, an invention might include a granted patent that is near the end of its life (for example, 20 years) or it might include a provisional patent application that has only recently been filed. Further, one invention might relate to a patent application in one country only, or it might relate to over 20 patents/applications in different countries covering the one invention.

Journal articles: includes journal articles and other items published as part of a journal (for example, an editorial or book review).

Live patent cases: a live patent case is where either a patent application or a granted patent exists. It does not include cases that have lapsed, expired or been withdrawn. Applications may include provisional applications, Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications and applications pending in Australia or foreign jurisdictions.

Mass spectrometry: an analytical technique that measures the masses of different chemical substances in a sample.

New inventions: this is the number of new inventions where an application (normally an Australian provisional application) is filed for the first time to protect that invention. A major implication of filing the provisional application is that it provides the applicant with an internationally recognised priority date. A small percentage of CSIRO’s new inventions are filed as United States provisional applications.

PC laboratory: a physical containment (PC) laboratory is specifically constructed to prevent the contamination of the worker or the environment by harmful organisms. Depending on the level of risk associated with the microbial work, different levels of containment are certified by regulators, the highest containment level being PC4, which involves work with life-threatening diseases, such as involving the Ebola virus.

PCT applications: international PCT applications are a ‘temporary’ phase in any international patenting process and these have a life span of 18 months. This type of application is very common in major international corporations and is used by CSIRO when it considers its invention may have wide commercial application. In view of the 18-month time span, it is reasonable to approximate that two thirds of the reported number were filed in the previous 12-month period.

Pride@CSIRO: a professional network and social community for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI+) identifying employees and other LGBTI+ friendly staff.

Pulsar: a rotating neutron star that emits a focused beam of electromagnetic radiation.

PV system: a photovoltaic system, or solar power system, is a power system designed to supply usable solar power by means of photovoltaics. It consists of an arrangement of several components, including solar panels to absorb and convert sunlight into electricity.

Recordable Injury Frequency Rate: this is calculated as the sum of Lost Time Injuries per million hours worked plus Medical Treatment Injuries per million hours worked.

Science excellence: an assessment of the competitiveness of CSIRO’s research capabilities. It recognises CSIRO’s science (for example, total citations) and excellence (for example, citation rates). It tends to be output oriented and includes lagging metrics relating to research publication performance (bibliometrics), esteem measures, such as awards, and expert-peer reviews.

Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions: greenhouse gas emissions are organised into scopes to avoid double-counting emissions and indicate those that organisations can control (Scope 1) versus those that they can influence (Scope 3). Scope 1 are emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the organisation. Scope 2 are emissions from the consumption of purchased electricity, steam, or other sources of energy generated upstream from the organisation. Scope 3 are emissions that are a consequence of the operations of an organisation, but are not directly owned or controlled by the organisation.

Sponsored students: students are deemed to be sponsored if they receive a full or partial scholarship paid from CSIRO funds to pursue a research project leading to a PhD or Honours/Master’s degree. This excludes CSIRO employees, whose study expenses are considered to be training and development.

Supervised students: students are deemed to be supervised if they have a CSIRO staff member appointed officially by the university as the supervisor for their research project. Normally, CSIRO staff are joint supervisors in conjunction with a university academic.

Technical reports: includes individually authored chapters as well as whole reports that are subject to peer review and usually publicly released.

Type specimen: the specimen that was originally used to name a species or subspecies or that was later designated as the basis for that name.

Vector-borne diseases: illnesses caused by any agent that transmits pathogens into another living organism. Most vectors are organisms such as parasites, e.g. ticks, lice, mosquitoes, but can be inanimate, e.g. dust.

Zoonoses: infectious diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans, e.g. influenza (bird flu, swine flu), Zika fever, Lyme disease, etc.

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