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National Science Foundation National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

General Notes

Data Tables

Appendix A. Technical Notes

Appendix B. Survey Materials

Suggested Citation, Acknowledgments

John E. Jankowski,
Project Officer
(703) 292-7781
Research and Development Statistics Program

State Agency Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal Year 2006


Appendix A. Technical Notes


The National Science Foundation (NSF) Survey of State R&D Expenditures measures the extent of R&D activity performed and funded by each of the nation's 50 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico (treated as state equivalents in this report). The FY 2006 survey inaugurated this data collection effort; it collected amounts expended for R&D activities by state agencies for state fiscal years ending in 2006. A survey of FY 2007 expenditures will be conducted.

NSF provided funding to the U.S. Census Bureau to develop and conduct the FY 2006 survey, via a Web-based instrument. The survey was launched in November 2006 with a letter from the NSF Director, Dr. Arden Bement, to governors asking for each state's participation. The survey materials also included a letter of endorsement from the National Governors Association chair, Governor Janet Napolitano. (See appendix B.) Responses were collected through October 2007.

Scope of Survey

The survey covered state government departments, agencies, independent commissions, and other entities determined to be state-run. It excluded state-run colleges and universities, which are canvassed as part of the NSF Survey of R&D Expenditures at Colleges and Universities (see "Data Comparability," below, for more detail). It also excluded entities determined to be nonprofit or private, as defined by Census Bureau government classification.

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Survey Methodology

The universe of interest covered all state departments, agencies, commissions, and dependent entities, with the exception of state-run colleges and universities; however, evidence existed that not all state agencies needed to be surveyed, as many were clearly not involved in R&D activity. Governors' offices identified a central coordinator in each state to assist in collecting data from state agencies. Each state coordinator was given a list of preselected agencies in their state that were to be surveyed with certainty. These agencies were identified in advance by the Census Bureau and NSF as having names that indicated a strong likelihood for providing R&D support, on the basis of reported R&D funding from a state survey conducted in 1996.[1] State coordinators were encouraged to add agencies they believed were also involved with R&D to the preselected list. State coordinators were allowed to add agencies until final survey closeout. The total preselected agency count was 320. State coordinators added 103 agencies to the respondent universe, for a total agency respondent universe of 423.[2]

Before officially submitting the data for their state, coordinators performed a final verification of aggregated agency data. All responses, including the initial agency data submissions and final state coordinator verifications, were received via the Web form or e-mail. Basic logical edit checks, review of respondent comments, and comparisons of data from previous surveys allowed staff to detect and work with state respondents to correct data errors.

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Survey Instrument

The respondent questionnaire consisted of one screening and four R&D expenditures data questions (appendix B). The four R&D expenditures questions contained a total of 10 items.

Screening Question. The purpose of this question was to reduce the burden on agency respondents who did not have qualifying R&D expenditures during FY 2006 and to further clarify the scope of the survey for those agencies with R&D expenditures data to report. All 423 state agencies were asked whether they conducted or funded R&D activities during FY 2006. Respondents were provided definitions and examples (appendix B), including the following definition of R&D: creative work conducted systematically to (1) extend scientific knowledge, or (2) devise new or improved applications, including materials, products, devices, processes, systems, or services. Respondents who answered "No" to the screening question were not required to complete the remaining questions.

Question 1. The first seven data items were grouped as one question on the survey form. The purpose of this question was to allow the respondent to report all R&D expenditures for the agency, with the exception of R&D plant expenditures. The first three items asked for "Internal Performer" expenditures, by source of funds (state, federal, other). The second three items asked the respondent to report expenditures according to three types of "External Performers." The final data item, the agency's "Total R&D Expenditures," was calculated automatically as the respondent entered data.

Question 2. This question asked the respondent to provide the total amount of basic research expenditures for the agency. Respondents were provided with the "Total R&D Expenditures" amount calculated in Question 1.

Question 3. The next data item was also a subset of the "Total R&D Expenditures" amount calculated in Question 1. This question requested total R&D expenditures from federal sources, regardless of whether the R&D was performed internally or externally.

Question 4. The final data item asked the respondent to report R&D plant expenditures for FY 2006. This item was requested separately to avoid including large, one-time agency expenditures for construction projects or the purchase of land or buildings in "Total R&D Expenditures."

The instrument also allowed respondents to provide comments for each question.

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Response Rates

The FY 2006 Survey of State R&D Expenditures calculated two response rates: one at the agency level and one for official data verification at the state level. Of the 52 states and state equivalents, 48 (92.3%) provided officially verified final state data. The four entities that did not officially verify data had some or all agencies submit data. The final agency response was 416 out of 423, for a rate of 98.3%. One state, Maine, did not submit individual agency data but submitted state totals via the state coordinator. For this reason, the 10 preselected agencies in Maine were not counted in the final response rates. Table A-1 displays final agency response rates, as well as counts of agencies that identified themselves as not having qualifying R&D expenditures for FY 2006. Table A-2 displays the progression of response rates throughout data collection for both state and agency responses.

Of the 416 agencies that responded to the survey, 164 (39.4%) reported conducting and funding no R&D in FY 2006; 252 reported having FY 2006 R&D activity. Of the 315 agencies preselected for the survey who responded, 103 (32.7%) reported having no R&D. Of the 101 respondent agencies added to the survey by a state coordinator, 61 (60.4%) reported having no R&D, which indicated that the preselection process for identifying R&D activities of state agencies was generally successful but not complete.

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National Totals and Imputations

All state and national totals are aggregates of reported agency data or amounts revised at the state level by state coordinators. No statistical methods were used to account for nonresponding agencies.

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Data Limitations

State coordinators in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, and Rhode Island did not verify the aggregated agency data. Their agencies' data are included in totals reported here. At least one agency in each of the following states did not respond to the survey: Colorado (1), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (2), and Rhode Island (2).

Although every effort was made to exclude out-of-scope amounts, it is likely that some reported data include expenditures for non-R&D activities, such as commercialization, environmental testing, or routine survey work. Some state data may also exclude minor R&D expenditure amounts from agencies not surveyed.

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Data Comparability

The last two previous NSF-supported surveys of state government R&D were undertaken more than a decade ago. The first collected data for fiscal years 1987 and 1988,[3] and the second, for fiscal year 1995.[4] Both data collections were conducted by nonfederal organizations that were supported by NSF grants. Because of differences in the survey populations, definition of covered R&D activities, and collection methods, the results of those surveys are not comparable with the statistics collected on the FY 2006 Survey of State R&D Expenditures.

The data reported here focus exclusively on R&D expenditures of state departments, agencies, commissions, and dependent entities, with the exception of state-run colleges and universities. Universities, colleges, or other higher education entities surveyed under the NSF Survey of R&D Expenditures at Universities and Colleges were out of scope, as respondents, for this effort. State-run laboratories or experiment stations controlled by state universities were excluded. Any entities determined to be nonprofit or private, as defined by Census Bureau government classification, were also excluded from the respondent universe. Several industry-specific state commissions, which are generally chartered by state legislatures but are administered independently, were considered state agencies and included in the survey.

The data exclude R&D expenditures of states that did not flow through state agencies' budgets. The state totals do not include direct appropriations from state legislatures to colleges and universities. In FY 2006, universities and colleges reported expending $3.0 billion on separately budgeted R&D activities that were funded from all sources of state and local government support.[5] State agencies reported $0.5 billion in expenditures used to support R&D performance by academic institutions. A major factor for the difference between totals reported in the Academic and the State R&D surveys is due to direct appropriations/grants to state-run universities that are included in the former, but not the latter. Another likely factor is the exclusion of R&D at agricultural experiment stations from the state survey totals. Table A-3 provides state-specific comparisons.

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Data Availability

Data from this and other NSF R&D surveys are available at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/.

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[1] Battelle Memorial Institute and State Science & Technology Institute. 1998. Survey of State Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal Year 1995. Columbus, OH.

[2] Ten agencies in Maine were preselected to receive the survey questionnaire. However, the state coordinator opted to submit aggregate state totals, rather than individual state agency data. Consequently, those 10 agencies are not included in the counts of agencies.

[3] National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Studies. 1990. Research and Development Expenditures of State Government Agencies: Fiscal Years 1987 and 1988. Special Report NSF 90-309. Washington, DC. (Report based on data collected by Syracuse Research Corporation.)

[4] National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Studies. 1999. What is the State Government Role in the R&D Enterprise? NSF 99-348. Arlington, VA. Available at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf99348/. (Report based on Survey of State Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal Year 1995, conducted by Battelle Memorial Institute and State Science & Technology Institute.)

[5] National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics. 2007. Academic Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal Year 2006. Detailed Statistical Tables NSF 08-300. Arlington, VA. Available at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf08300/.

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Technical Tables Excel PDF
A-1 Final response rates and agencies reporting "no R&D" for Survey of State R&D Expenditures: FY 2006 view Excel. view PDF.
A-2 Monthly cumulative response rates during calendar year 2007 view Excel. view PDF.
A-3 State-funded R&D expenditures at universities and colleges, reported by academic and state agency survey respondents: FY 2006 view Excel. view PDF.

State Agency Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal Year 2006
Detailed Statistical Tables | NSF 08-310 | May 2008