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bulletComputer-Aided Science Policy Analysis and Research (WebCASPAR)
bulletIndustrial Research and Development Information System (IRIS)
bulletScientists and Engineers Statistical Data System (SESTAT)
bulletSocial and Economic Implications of Information Technologies: A Bibliographic Database Pilot Project
bulletMicrodata Files

 

Top Computer-Aided Science Policy Analysis and Research (WebCASPAR)

WebCASPAR is a database system containing information about academic science and engineering resources and is newly available on the World Wide Web. Included in the database is information from several of SRS's academic surveys plus information from a variety of other sources, including the National Center for Education Statistics. The system is designed to provide multiyear information about individual fields of S&E at individual academic institutions. The system provides the user with opportunities to select variables of interest and to specify whether and how information should be aggregated. Information can be output in hard copy form or in Lotus, Excel or SAS formats for additional manipulation by the researcher.

Top Industrial Research and Development Information System (IRIS)

IRIS links an online interface to a historical database with more than 2,500 statistical tables containing all industrial research and development (R&D) data published by NSF from 1953 through 1998. These tables are drawn from the results of NSF's annual Survey of Industrial Research and Development, the primary source for national-level data on U.S. industrial R&D.

IRIS resembles a databank more than a traditional database system. Rather than firm-specific microdata, it contains the most comprehensive collection of historical national industrial R&D statistics currently available. The tables in the database are in Excel spreadsheet format which are easily accessible either by defining various measures (e.g., total R&D) and dimensions (e.g., size of company) of specific research topics or by querying the report in which the tables were first published.

Top Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System (SESTAT)

SESTAT is a comprehensive and integrated system of information about the employment, educational and demographic characteristics of scientists and engineers in the United States and is intended for both policy analysis and general research, having features for both the casual and more intensive data user.

SESTAT currently contains data from three NSF-sponsored demographic surveys, including 1999 survey responses from about 100,000 individuals. The NSF surveys provide compatible data which have been merged into a single integrated data system. These samples represent statistically about 13 million persons with science and engineering degrees. For additional information about the SESTAT system and the data it contains see "SESTAT: A Tool for Studying Scientists and Engineers in the United States" (NSF 99-337).

Top Social and Economic Implications of Information Technologies:
A Bibliographic Database Pilot Project (Road Maps)

Computerized bibliographic search algorithms and consultations with research experts were used to identify over 4,000 data sets, research papers and books, and Web sites that provide insights about the social and economic implications of information, communications, and computational technologies (IT). Citations to these works have been sorted into a series of searchable listings called Road Maps and are available online for public use and comment.

Included are the implications of IT for the home, education, community, government, science, employment and work, commerce (including electronic commerce), productivity, institutional structure, globalization, and selected policy issues. About one third of the citations in the Road Maps have abstracts. A subset of the citations in the Home Road Map has been specially annotated.

Note: This pilot project consists of citations (including URLs for Web items). It does not contain the data or research works cited.

Top Microdata Files

The Division of Science Resources Statistics, like all Federal agencies, is bound by the Privacy Act of 1974 to protect the confidentiality of the records it maintains about individuals. Further, even when data are not covered by the Privacy Act, it may be necessary to assure respondents (both individuals and institutions) that we will not divulge the information they provide to us except in a format that will not permit identification of the respondent. We are, of course, obligated to honor all such assurances.

In some cases protection of confidentiality is fairly straightforward. We may simply need to delete identifying information (such as name and address) from the records. In other cases, however, such straightforward methods may not be adequate. This is true for most of SRS's microdata files that contain information about individuals.

When we believe that we cannot issue a data file containing complete records from a survey, we attempt to develop a public use file that provides researchers with as much microdata as feasible, given our need to protect respondent confidentiality. We achieve this goal by suppressing selected fields and/or recoding variables.

In some cases SRS staff believe that protection of respondent confidentiality would require such extensive recoding that the resulting file would have little, if any, research utility. In these cases we do not issue a public use file. However, we have developed a variety of methods to assist individuals in using the data in this situation. In some cases, researchers are able to state their needs for tabulations or other statistics with sufficient specificity that necessary summary information can be provided without the need for access to microdata. In other cases, NSF and the researcher can execute a license agreement that permits the researcher to use the data files at NSF's offices in Arlington, Virginia or at the researcher's academic institution.

Microdata files for the following surveys may be obtained under a license agreement with NSF. Researchers interested in obtaining information about using these data files are requested to contact:

1. Survey of Earned Doctorates Joan Burrelli, 703-292-7793, jburrell@nsf.gov
2. Survey of Doctorate Recipients Kelly Kang, 703-292-7796, kkang@nsf.gov
3. National Survey of Recent College Graduates John Tsapogas, 703-292-7799, jtsapoga@nsf.gov
4. SESTAT Integrated Data File Nirmala Kannankutty, 703-292-7797, nkannank@nsf.gov

For information concerning NSF confidentiality and privacy policies, please contact:

Ronald Fecso
Chief Mathematical Statistician
Division of Science Resources Statistics, Room 965
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230
Phone: (703) 292-7769
Internet: rfecso@nsf.gov

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