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Reporting of Data on Race/Ethnicity/Sex by Field in SED Reports published by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (formerly SRS)

April 2011. The National Science Foundation has launched the SED Tabulation Engine, a pilot data tool for accessing selected variables from the Survey of Earned Doctorates. It complements the WebCASPAR data tool by performing tabulations on data for 2006 and beyond. The tabulation engine includes a disclosure control mechanism that protects the identity of respondents when using the gender, citizenship, and race/ethnicity variables.

January 2011. A new data reporting strategy for the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) is nearly complete. Readers will note the following changes in SED publications and data systems that report SED data from 2007 and later years:

  • Statistical tables have been redesigned in several SED publications to accommodate the new data reporting strategy.
  • SED data for race/ethnicity, sex, and citizenship for 2007 and later years are no longer available in the WebCASPAR data reporting system.
  • A new data tool, the SED Tabulation Engine, is expected to be released in early February 2011. It will incorporate disclosure protection procedures and include all SED variables previously available in WebCASPAR except baccalaureate institution and the highest degree awarded by those institutions. The SED Tabulation Engine will permit users to analyze and report the race/ethnicity, sex, and citizenship data that are no longer available in WebCASPAR. For all SED variables in common to the two systems, the data derived from the SED Tabulation Engine will be consistent with WebCASPAR tabulations.

2008. NCSES began outreach efforts to learn about the data needs of the SED data-user communities and to solicit feedback on alternative data-reporting strategies. At the 20 February 2009 meeting of the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE)—a congressionally mandated committee that advises NSF on policies and programs for increasing the number of underrepresented individuals in science and engineering fields—NCSES outlined its proposed strategy for reporting SED race/ethnicity and sex data by fine field of degree. The links below provide information about the origins and implementation of the proposed data reporting strategy.

  • An updated status report describing the tasks completed between March and December 2009, a schedule of SED publications, and the disclosure protection approach being applied to reports of data on race/ethnicity and sex by field of degree (December 2009).
  • A status report on the release of race/ethnicity and gender data by fine field of degree, including next steps to be taken (March 2009).
  • Features of the proposed strategy for reporting race/ethnicity and sex data (presented at the February 20th CEOSE meeting).
  • An article describing the CEOSE meeting from the 27 February 2009 issue of Science Magazine PDF. (113K).
  • CORRECTION to the 27 February Science Magazine article. See Science Magazine, 20 March 2009, News of the Week (p. 1561) PDF. (71K).

2007. NCSES strengthened the confidentiality protections applied to the SED by expanding the use of data suppression methods. These measures had an impact on the reporting of data about underrepresented minorities and, as a result, on the SED data-user communities. In response to the communities' concerns, NCSES began exploring alternative data reporting strategies that would avoid or minimize data suppression but still protect the confidentiality of respondent data.

Last updated: January 20, 2011

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