Data on the financial and infrastructure resources supporting U.S. academic R&D are drawn from three ongoing National Science Foundation (NSF) surveys:
The data definitions and classifications in these three surveys are similar, but not identical. Furthermore, the respondents differ across the surveys: universities and colleges for the first two, federal agencies for the third.
Some of the data presented in the first part of this section (see "Academic R&D in the National R&D Effort") come from the NSF's National Patterns of R&D Resources series, which integrates data from NSF's R&D expenditure surveys to yield a comprehensive account of national R&D spending and funding. These separate data sets are adjusted for internal consistency and to reflect a calendar year. Some of the National Patterns figures for 2009 are considered "preliminary."
The data subsequently covered are derived from the Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges. These data are not adjusted and represent reporting on an academic year basis (e.g., FY 2009 covers July 2008 through June 2009).
Data on "Top Agency Supporters" and "Agency Support by Character of Work" come from NSF's Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development, which collects data on the R&D obligations of 30 federal agencies for each federal fiscal year (e.g., FY 2009 covers October 2008 through September 2009). The 2009 federal funds figures remain preliminary.
The federal obligations data for academic R&D (e.g., $26.0 billion in FY 2008) do not match the federally funded expenditures data reported by academic institutions (e.g., $31.3 billion in 2008). Several factors account for this discrepancy: the spans of the academic and federal fiscal years differ slightly, there is a time lag between obligating and spending funds, awards may span multiple years, and federal funds passed to other recipient organizations are sometimes double-counted.
The data on research equipment come from the Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges. The data on research facilities and cyberinfrastructure come from the Survey of Science and Engineering Research Facilities. In these surveys, academic R&D expenditures are reported by academic fiscal year.
Research equipment is purchased from operating funds and included in R&D expenditures. Although some large instrument systems may be classified as either facilities or equipment, facilities are generally treated as capital projects for accounting purposes.
The survey population for the facilities survey includes all universities and colleges in the Academic R&D Expenditures survey with $1 million or more in R&D expenditures. Starting in 2003, the facilities survey included data on computing and networking capacities. Fixed items such as buildings, which often cost millions of dollars, are not included in the reported R&D expenditures.
Redesign of the Survey of R&D Expenditures at Universities and Colleges
NSF's Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges has been conducted annually since 1972. In 2007, an effort was started to evaluate and redesign the survey. The goals of the redesign were (1) to update the survey instrument to reflect current accounting principles in order to obtain more valid and reliable measurements of the amount of U.S. academic R&D expenditures and (2) to expand the current survey items to collect some additional detail on topics most often requested by data users. Data from the revised and expanded survey, renamed the "Higher Education R&D (HERD) Survey," is expected to be publicly available in late 2011.
The HERD survey will continue to capture comparable information on R&D expenditures by sources of funding and field, which will allow for continued trend analysis. It will also include a more comprehensive treatment of S&E and non-S&E fields, an expanded population of surveyed institutions, explicit treatment of research training grants and clinical trials, greater detail about the sources of funding for R&D expenditures by field, and headcounts on principal investigators, other research personnel, and postdocs. Britt (2010) provides a more complete list of improvements in the redesigned survey.
Broadly defined, academic earmarking is the congressional practice of directing federal funds to educational institutions for facilities or projects that are not required to undergo merit-based peer review. However, this characterization contains enough ambiguity about how to classify individual projects that estimates of the number of earmarked projects or the amount of earmarked funds may reasonably differ.
Detailed assessments of academic earmarks have been prepared by staff of The Chronicle of Higher Education. The most recent of these analyses estimated a total of $2.3 billion in academic earmarks in FY 2008 (Brainard and Hermes, 2008). A similar analysis for FY 2003 puts the academic earmark total at $2.0 billion (Brainard and Borrego, 2003). Approximately two-thirds ($1.6 billion) of the FY 2008 funds and $1.4 billion of the FY 2003 funds were for R&D projects, R&D equipment, or construction or renovation of R&D laboratories. A more recent estimate, published in the Chronicle but prepared by an outside watchdog group, put the academic earmark total for FY 2010 at $1.5 billion (Kiley, 2010).
Recently, both the Senate and House of Representatives agreed to federal budget rules that aim to eliminate earmarks. There are no earmarks in the final budget appropriations for FY 2011.
EPSCoR, the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, is based on the premise that universities and their S&E faculty and students are valuable resources that can potentially influence a state's development in the 21st century in much the same way that agricultural, industrial, and natural resources did in the 20th century.
EPSCoR originated as a response to a number of stated federal objectives. Section 3(e) of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, states that "it shall be an objective of the Foundation to strengthen research and education in the sciences and engineering, including independent research by individuals, throughout the United States, and to avoid undue concentration of such research and education." Prior to this, in 1947, a Steelman report, titled "Science and Public Policy," in discussing the formation of NSF, stated "it is clear that a portion of the funds expended by the National Science Foundation should be used to strengthen the weaker, but promising, colleges and universities, and thus to increase our total scientific potential."
In 1978, Congress authorized the NSF to conduct EPSCoR in response to broad public concerns about the extent of geographical concentration of federal funding for Research and Development (R&D). Eligibility for EPSCoR participation was limited to those jurisdictions that have historically received lesser amounts of federal R&D funding and have demonstrated a commitment to develop their research bases and improve the quality of S&E research conducted at their universities and colleges.
The success of the NSF EPSCoR program during the 1980s subsequently prompted Congress to authorize the creation of EPSCoR and EPSCoR-like programs in six other federal agencies: the Departments of Energy, Defense, and Agriculture; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the National Institutes of Health; and the Environmental Protection Agency. In FY 1992, the EPSCoR Interagency Coordinating Committee (EICC) was established between the federal agencies with EPSCoR or EPSCoR-like programs. The major objectives of the EICC focused on improving coordination among and between the federal agencies in implementing EPSCoR or EPSCoR-like programs consistent with the policies of participating agencies. The participating agencies agreed to the following objectives:
EPSCoR seeks to increase the R&D competitiveness of an eligible state through the development and utilization of the S&T resources residing in its major research universities. It strives to achieve this objective by (1) stimulating sustainable S&T infrastructure improvements at the state and institutional levels that significantly increase the ability of EPSCoR researchers to compete for federal and private sector R&D funding, and (2) accelerating the movement of EPSCoR researchers and institutions into the mainstream of federal and private sector R&D support.
In FY 2010, five EICC agencies spent a total of $460.1 million on EPSCoR and EPSCoR-like programs, up from $225.3 million in 2001 (table
A postdoc is a temporary position in academia, industry, a nonprofit organization, or government, taken after the completion of a doctorate. It serves as a period of apprenticeship for the purpose of gaining scientific, technical, and professional skills. Ideally, the individual employed in a postdoc position gains these skills under the guidance of an advisor, and with the administrative and infrastructural support of a host institution and the financial support of a funding organization. However, the conditions of postdoc employment vary widely between academic and non-academic settings, across disciplines, and even within institutions, and formal job titles are an unreliable guide to actual work roles.
Postdoctoral researchers have become indispensable to the science and engineering enterprise and perform a substantial portion of the nation's research. Most have recently earned the doctorate degree, and so they bring a new set of techniques and perspectives that broadens their research teams' experience and makes them more competitive for additional research funding. In addition to conducting research, postdoctoral researchers also educate, train, and supervise junior members, help write grant proposals and papers, and present research results at professional society meetings (COSEPUP 2000).
The article counts, coauthorships, and citations discussed in this section are derived from S&E articles, notes, and reviews published in a set of scientific and technical journals tracked by Thomson Scientific in the Science Citation Index and Social Sciences Citation Index (http://www.thomsonreuters.com/business_units/scientific/). Journal items excluded are letters to the editor, news stories, editorials, and other material whose purpose is not the presentation or discussion of scientific data, theory, methods, apparatus, or experiments.
Journal selection. This section uses a changing set of journals that reflects the current mix of journals and articles in the world. Thomson Reuters selects journals each year as described at http://www.thomsonreuters.com/products_services/science/free/essays/journal_selection_process/, and the selected journals become part of the SCI and SSCI. The journals selected are notable for their relatively high citation rank within their corresponding S&E subfields; journals of only regional interest are excluded.
The number of journals analyzed by NSF from SCI/SSCI was 4,093 in 1988 and 5,085 in 2010, an annual growth rate of about 1.0%. These journals give good coverage of a core set of internationally recognized peer-reviewed scientific journals. The coverage extends to electronic-only journals and print journals with electronic versions. In the period 1988–2010, the database contained 14.6 million S&E articles, notes, and reviews. Over the same period, the average number of articles, notes, and reviews per journal per year increased from about 115 to 154, an annual growth rate of about 1.3%.
Article data. Except where noted, author means departmental or institutional author. Articles are attributed to countries or sectors by the country or sector of the institutional address(es) given in the articles, not by the national origins or the citizenship of the authoring scientists or engineers. If no institutional affiliation is listed, the article is excluded from the counts in this chapter.
Likewise, coauthorship refers to institutional coauthorship. An article is considered coauthored only if it shows different institutional affiliations or different departments of the same institution; multiple listings of the same department of an institution are considered one institutional author. The same logic applies to cross-sector and international collaboration.
Two methods of counting articles are used: fractional and whole counts. Fractional counting is used for article and citation counts. In fractional counting, credit for co-authored articles is divided among the collaborating institutions or countries based on the proportion of their participating departments or institutions. Whole counting is used for coauthorship data. In whole counting, each institution or country receives one credit for its participation in the article. (If authors list more than one departmental or institutional affiliation, these are fractionalized for article and citation counts; whole counts are used for each affiliation in coauthorship data.)
Data in the first section only ("S&E Article Output") are reported by publication year through 2009 as reported in the data files through late January, 2011. These data are noted as "by year of publication." Publication data in the remaining bibliometrics sections ("Coauthorship and Collaboration," "Trends in Output and Collaboration Among U.S. Sectors," and "Trends in Citation of S&E Articles") are reported through 2010. These data are noted as "by data file year."
The indexes for any country pair are always symmetrical. The China-U.S. and U.S.-China index are the same, as follows:
The 2010 China-U.S. index value is essentially 1, the "expected" index value when two countries coauthor with each other at the same rate as they coauthor with all countries. This is an increase since 1995, when the index was 0.83.
Using a combination of U.S. Patent Classification and International Patent Classification codes and text strings, NSF developed algorithms to identify USPTO-issued patents with potential application in four broad "green" technology areas. The four technology areas and their main sub-categories are listed below. The search codes used to locate relevant patents will be available in D'Amato et al. (2012 forthcoming), which documents the process used in developing these patent filters.
|Alternative energy production||Energy storage||Energy management
Superconducting magnetic energy systems
Hydrogen production and storage
Thermal energy storage
Sensing and measurement
Advanced control methods
Improved interfaces and decision support
Carbon and greenhouse gas capture and storage
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Science and Engineering Indicators 2012 Arlington, VA (NSB 12-01) | January 2012