Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Definitions of terms as they are used in this manual

Analysis Series: Many comprehensive articles that provide an analytical perspective on census information released in The Daily.

Analytical study: A text in which one or more datasets are examined and interpreted in order to make observations and reveal trends about the field being measured.

Analytical studies : Website module that provides access to all analytical studies (free or for sale) published by Statistics Canada.

Article: A text document that is disseminated as part of a larger document.

Author: Individual(s), institution(s), corporation(s) and/or government department(s) responsible for the intellectual or artistic content of a document, publication, web page, data, etc.

Beyond 20/20: Software presenting multidimensional data and descriptive text in a table view. The Beyond 20/20 browser must be installed on your computer for you to view these tables.

Bibliography: A list of all sources consulted in the creation of a document, whether or not they are cited in the text. (See also Reference list.)

Book: A stand-alone publication that is not part of a series.

CANSIM: Statistics Canada's socio-economic database, which includes over 25 million series and can be searched by subject, keyword, table number or series number.

Cartographic boundary file: Digital representation of standard geographic areas, along with shorelines and lakes, at a level of detail appropriate for small- and medium-scale mapping.

Census product: Information packaged for public distribution comprising either census data or a census reference product intended to aid interpretation of census data, such as a user guide. Census products may be documents in print or electronic format, and may take the form of databases or microdata files offered on the Internet or on CD-ROM or other portable medium.

Chapter: A major division of a large stand-alone publication, such as a book. Chapters generally have numbers and titles. (See also Section.)

Chart: Data represented in a pictorial form. (See also Graph and Figure.)

CHASS (Computing in the Humanities and Social Sciences): A data distributor that maintains and operates the CHASS Data Centre, a collection of social science and general-interest databases (e.g., Canadian Census, CANSIM, International Monetary Fund and World Bank).

Co-edition: A publication that is authored and/or published by Statistics Canada and one or more other institutions, corporations and/or government departments.

Custom and special tabulations: Products developed by Statistics Canada to meet specific clients' needs and specifications. These products include special surveys, tabulations and analyses derived from existing databases, and research and consultation in accordance with specifications agreed to with clients.

The Daily: Statistics Canada's official online release publication. It offers electronically disseminated subscription services and monthly release supplements on the Labour Force Survey and the Consumer Price Index.

Data product: A product primarily or exclusively composed of tables and charts for public distribution. Some explanatory text that, for example, defines key terms and variables may be included; interpretive or analytical text is not included.

Database: A collection of data objects stored together in electronic form, according to one schema, and accessible by computer.

Data Liberation Initiative (DLI): Offers faculty and students at participating Canadian postsecondary institutions access to standard, machine-readable Statistics Canada products. Access is only for the purposes of teaching, academic research and publishing, and planning of educational services within the institution.

Depository Services Program (DSP): The program under which information from government departments and agencies is distributed to a network of depository libraries.

Distributor: An organization authorized to deliver Statistics Canada information to the public or to provide products and services based on the information.

Document: Information that can be treated as a unit, regardless of its physical form and characteristics.

Edition: A modified form of a publication. Copies correspond in all respects to a single copy of the edition that is used as a master. (See also Version.)

Editor: Individual(s) bringing together a number of documents by different authors into a single publication.

Electronic document: A document that exists in an electronic format and can be accessed by computer technology.

Essential element (of information): A component of a bibliographic reference, such as title, author name, date of publication, URL and distributor.

Extraction system: The interface and software that enable users to select, view and download portions of a database.

Figure: Data represented in a pictorial form. (See also Chart and Graph.)

File: An organized collection of data, usually comprising related records.

Geographic information system (GIS): An organized collection of computer hardware, software, geographic data and personnel that efficiently captures, stores, updates, manipulates, analyses and displays all forms of geographically referenced information.

GeoSearch : An Internet tool that makes it easy to locate any place in Canada on a map and get basic geographic, population and dwelling data for it. Users can click and zoom on a map of Canada or they can search by place name, street name, street intersection or postal code.

Geospatial file: Digital information used to create maps.

GeoSuite : A software tool for data retrieval, query and tabular output. Users can explore the links among all standard levels of geography and determine geographic codes, names, and population and dwelling counts. GeoSuite includes a listing that facilitates the identification of appropriate dissemination area reference maps.

Graph: Data represented in a pictorial form. (See also Chart and Figure.)

Issue: A single occurrence of a periodical publication, with a unique number or chronological designation, generally expressed as volume and number.

Map: A graphic representation, usually on a plane surface and at an established scale, of natural and/or man-made features on or under the surface of the earth or other planetary body. The features are positioned as accurately as possible, usually relative to a co-ordinate reference system, such as degrees of latitude and longitude.

Master files: Microdata files that have been anonymized, but have more detailed information than public-use microdata files. These more sensitive files are available only in Research Data Centres or via remote job submission to Statistics Canada.

Microdata: Characteristics of individuals, institutions, events, etc. at the level at which they were originally collected, usually by a survey or census; in other words, the actual answers each respondent gave to the questions in a census or survey. From these microdata are generated the descriptive statistics published in many Statistics Canada products, in academic publications, and in the media. Microdata include public-use microdata files (PUMFs) and master files.

Monograph: A publication that is published on an occasional (irregular) basis as part of a series.

Periodical publication: A publication in print or electronic format (e.g., a journal), issued regularly in successive, stand-alone parts that usually have numerical or chronological designations, and intended to be continued indefinitely, whatever the periodicity. Periodicals include monthlies, quarterlies and annuals.

Primary web pages on Statistics Canada 's website: Pages that can be accessed directly from links on the home page of the Statistics Canada website (

Producer: Institution that collects and compiles a dataset. Producers typically publish datasets, but may also make them available to data distributors for publication.

Product category: For the purposes of citation, more than 80 different types of Statistics Canada products and services have been classified into 11 broad categories: publications, census products, collection materials, conferences and workshops, custom or special tabulations, data products, maps and geospatial products, microdata products, pages from Statistics Canada's website, and private communications.

Publication: A document usually published electronically on a website or in multiple print copies and offered for general distribution. Includes books, reports, periodicals, series and co-editions.

Public-use microdata files (PUMFs): Microdata files that have been carefully anonymized (i.e., all identifying information has been removed) and scrutinized to ensure that no risk of breach of individual privacy or confidentiality exists. PUMFs are available to Canadian postsecondary institutions that are members of the Data Liberation Initiative, or for purchase.

Publisher: Individual(s), organization(s), institution(s) or government department(s) responsible for the production and dissemination of a document.

Record: A group of data usually treated as a unit. A record is a subset of a file.

Reference list: A list of all sources that have been actually cited in a document. (See also Bibliography.)

Reference map: Shows the location of geographic areas for which census data are tabulated and disseminated. Reference maps display the boundaries, names and codes of standard geographic areas, as well as major cultural and physical features such as roads, railroads, coastlines, rivers and lakes.

Scale: Correspondence of distance shown on a map and actual distance on the earth. Should be cited as indicated on a map. If several scales are used, as for a set, indicate 'Scale varies.' If scale is not provided or not easily derived, use 'Scale not given.'

Secondary web pages: Web pages within a primary web page. Generally, only the first and second level (i.e. up to two clicks in) are used in citations.

Section: A major division of a small stand-alone publication, such as a report, study, technical paper or monograph. Sections generally have numbers and titles. (See also Chapter.)

Serial publication: A publication in print or electronic format, issued occasionally (irregularly) in successive, stand-alone parts (e.g., analytical studies) that usually have numerical or chronological designations, and intended to be continued indefinitely.

Subtitle: One or more words comprising the second part of the title of a document.

Synthetic file: Low-level data, as provided by survey respondents (individuals or establishments). These data have been sufficiently modified or perturbed to ensure the privacy of the respondents and may include both real and artificial data. They are used to develop and test data formulations before processing against a master file and must not be used to produce estimates for analysis.

Table: Data presented systematically in a grid with rows and columns.

Technical papers: Statistics Canada publications that focus on methodology and other statistical issues.

Thematic map: Shows the spatial distribution of one or more specific data themes for standard geographic areas. The map may be qualitative in nature (e.g., predominant farm types) or quantitative (e.g., percentage population change).

Title: The name given to a product, publication or document, or to a component of it.

Version: Form of a document that has been modified without changing the identity of the document. (See also Edition).

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: