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The quaternary sector describes the knowledge-based[1] part of the economy, which typically includes knowledge-oriented economic sectors such as information technology; media; research and development; information-based services such as information-generation and information-sharing; and knowledge-based services such as consultation, education, financial planning, blogging, and designing.[2]

The quaternary sector is based on pure knowledge and personal skill. It consists of intellectual industries providing information services, such as computing and ICT (information and communication technologies), consultancy (offering advice to businesses) and R&D (research, particularly in scientific fields). According to some definitions, the quaternary sector includes other pure services, such as the entertainment industry, and the term has been used[by whom?] to describe media, culture, and government.