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Access to detailed statistical tables is changing

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) is rethinking the way it provides access to its wide variety of detailed statistical tables. Currently, NCSES publishes a large set of detailed tables for each survey. These tables represent an extensive set of cross-cuts on the survey data.

The published tables are available in Excel and PDF formats and are accompanied by general notes, which give an overview of the types of data available in tables and a brief description of the survey and its history, and by technical notes, which document changes in reporting, data comparability and availability, and provide definitions and other details related to collection of the data.

NCSES believes that its audience for data will be better served by an updated model that will (1) reduce the time it takes to process the tables and (2) provide online access in a more flexible and customizable way, while preserving the accuracy and integrity of the data and the context of the information.

To meet these objectives, NCSES plans a three-phased approach:

Phase Timeline
Phase 1. Publish detailed statistical tables for key variables only, reducing the tables to a core set. NCSES continues to produce the full set of tables and provides the full set upon request. The published tables continue to include the general and technical notes. Now. Phase 1 has begun with the 2008 Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR) detailed statistical tables. The 2008 SDR publication consists of 14 published tables. The full set of 81 tables is listed in exhibit 1 of appendix A of the published report, and the unpublished table set is available by request from the SDR project officer.
Phase 2. Add online access to a full set of dynamically generated tables in addition to the published core set. The dynamically generated tables will be created from underlying microdata files.
All of the data, with a new look and feel. Notes and footnotes will be available.
In development. The estimated release of Phase 2 is fall 2013.
Phase 3. Add the ability to easily customize the dynamically generated tables. Users will be able to change the classification variables in the rows or columns or the analysis variable of interest from predefined sets of variables. Planned. The development schedule for Phase 3 is being planned and is not yet available.

NCSES will continue to provide access to the underlying microdata in either our WebCASPAR (http://ncsesdata.nsf.gov/webcaspar/) or SESTAT (http://ncsesdata.nsf.gov/sestat/sestat.html) data tools.

Feedback? NCSES invites comments and suggestions on this planned approach ncsesweb@nsf.gov

Last updated: December 6, 2012
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