ARCHIVED Annual Report 2003-2004

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Overview of Public Opinion Research in 2003-2004 in the Government of Canada

Comparison of Custom and Syndicated Studies


Custom public opinion research is work commissioned from a private firm for specific research needs of a department or agency. The commissioning organization ensures the intellectual property of reports and other materials generated by the project, which are made available to the public. Results of custom reports commissioned by the Government of Canada are in the public domain and available to all.

Custom research accounts for most of the work undertaken by the Government of Canada.

Syndicated research is owned by the firm which conducted the research and the data gathered on a wide range of subjects is offered to subscribers. These data often contain trend information. Syndicated research is sometimes efficient, because the overhead costs are shared by all subscribers, but they are prohibited from distributing the information to any other parties including other government departments. Departments and agencies that invest in additional omnibus questions can share the results of these questions with other departments and agencies.

In 2003-2004, the Government of Canada reduced its investment in syndicated research, purchasing studies worth $2.9 million compared with $3.1 million in the previous year and $4 million in 2001-2002. Custom research, however, is up to $22.6 million from $20.6 million, a 10 percent increase.

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