In June 1963, the OECD met with national experts on research and development (R&D) statistics at the Villa Falcioneri in Frascati, Italy. The result was the first official version of the Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys of Research and Development, better known as the Frascati Manual. This publication is the sixth edition. Since the fifth edition was issued in 1994, attention has increasingly been paid to R&D and innovation as key elements in the knowledge-based economy. Reliable and comparable statistics and indicators to monitor this area are of crucial importance. This edition therefore makes an effort to strengthen various methodological recommendations and guidelines, in particular for improving R&D statistics in the services sector and collecting more detailed data on human resources for R&D. Because globalisation is a challenge for R&D surveys, the Manual recommends some changes in classifications in an attempt to address this issue. Today’s R&D statistics are the result of the systematic development of surveys based on the Frascati Manual and are now part of the statistical system of the OECD member countries. Although the Manual is basically a technical document, it is a cornerstone of OECD efforts to increase the understanding of the role played by science and technology by analysing national systems of innovation. Furthermore, by providing internationally accepted definitions of R&D and classifications of its component activities, the Manual contributes to intergovernmental discussions on “best practices” for science and technology policies. The Frascati Manual is not only a standard for R&D surveys in OECD member countries. As a result of initiatives by the OECD, UNESCO, the European Union and various regional organisations, it has become a standard for R&D surveys worldwide. The Frascati Manual is based on experience gained from collecting R&D statistics in OECD member countries. It is a result of the collective work of national experts in NESTI (the Working Party of National Experts on Science and Technology Indicators). The Group, supported by an effective Secretariat, first led by the late Yvan Fabian and subsequently by Alison Young, John Dryden, Daniel Malkin and Andrew Wyckoff, has elaborated over the last 40 years on the concept of science and technology indicators and developed a series of methodological manuals known as the “Frascati Family”, which includes manuals on: R&D (Frascati Manual), innovation (Oslo Manual), human resources (Canberra Manual), technological balance of payments and patents as science and technology indicators. The Frascati Manual is also published in electronic format on the OECD Website. The idea is to update the electronic version more frequently, as newer material becomes available. The electronic version is complemented by further material related to R&D surveys. The sixth edition of the Manual was prepared by teams of experts drawn from the NESTI Group. The OECD Secretariat (especially Dominique Guellec, Laudeline Auriol, Mosahid Khan, Geneviève Muzart and Sharon Standish) played an active role in co-ordinating the process and drafting certain sections. Bill Pattinson (a former Australian NESTI delegate) was responsible for preliminary revisions while working in the OECD. Mikael Åkerblom (Statistics Finland and a Finnish NESTI delegate) worked in the final stage for one year at the OECD to draft the Manual, incorporating various comments and suggestions from NESTI members. Thanks to a generous voluntary contribution to the OECD from the Japanese government, this revision benefited from substantive contributions by experts and proceeded in a timely fashion. Japan’s contribution is gratefully acknowledged. The Manual is published on the responsibility of the Secretary-General of the OECD.