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NSF performs surveys and publishes data on the science and engineering (S&E) enterprise.

Credit: National Science Foundation

Science & Engineering: Surveying for S&E Data

Science and Engineering Indicators: A National Resource

Science and Engineering Indicators (Indicators) has been published biennially since 1972. This is a congressionally mandated report sent to both the President and Congress.

Indicators is considered the nation's most authoritative source for national and international science and engineering trends in education, the labor force, the global marketplace and research and development funding. Indicators authors compile statistics and perform analyses to portray the status of the science and engineering enterprise in the United States.

Indicators uses statistics from many sources to describe science education, the scientific workforce, research and development activities, technology and innovation, and public attitudes toward and understanding of science. From time to time, Indicators includes a chapter on a special topic. For example, in 1998, 2000 and 2002, Indicators included a chapter on the economic and social significance of information technology, and the 2004 volume for the first time included a chapter on state-level science and engineering indicators.

To browse Science and Engineering Indicators 2006, click here.

NSF's Division of Science Resources Statistics (SRS) fulfills the legislative mandate of the National Science Foundation Act to “provide a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation and analysis of data on scientific and engineering resources, and to provide a source of information for policy formulation by other agencies of the federal government. . .”

To carry out this mandate, SRS designs, supports and directs periodic surveys on the education of scientists and engineers, the science and engineering workforce, research and development funding and expenditures and the academic infrastructure.

For example, the division carries out a Survey of Doctorate Recipients, which provides demographic and career history information about individuals who have earned a doctorate from a U.S. institution in a science, engineering or health field. The results of this survey are vital for policymakers and planners within the federal government and in academia. Employers in all sectors (e.g., education, industry and the government) use the survey data to understand trends in employment opportunities and salaries in science and engineering fields for doctorate holders and to monitor the effectiveness of equal opportunity efforts in S&E fields.

For descriptions of all NSF surveys related to S&E, see: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/survey.cfm

For a list of all publications, data and analyses by NSF's SRS Division, see: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Surveys: Tracking Opinion Special Report