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Creating New Administrative Data to Describe the Scientific Workforce: The STAR METRICS Program

Author

Listed:
  • Lane, Julia

    () (New York University)

  • Schwarz, Lou

    (Factor 21)

Abstract

In common with many countries, the substantial United States investment in R&D is characterized by limited documentation of the nature and results of those investments (MacIlwain 2010, Marburger 2005). Despite the increased calls for reporting by key stakeholders, current data systems cannot meet the new requirements; indeed, the conclusion of the Science of Science Policy interagency group's Federal Research Roadmap (National Science and Technology Council 2008) was that the science policy data infrastructure was inadequate for decision-making. In response to this need, a new data system is being built (STAR METRICS) drawing from administrative records; this paper describes the initial results of that effort – focusing on documenting the scientific workforce supported by expenditures during the 2011 Federal fiscal year from awards made by the National Science Foundation. The contribution of the paper is threefold. First it describes in a non-technical fashion how these new data can contribute to our understanding of the initial results of science investments. Second, it shows how new computational technologies can be used to go beyond the traditional methods of manual reporting and administrative program coding to capture information at the most granular units of analysis possible. Finally, it discusses the lessons learned for the collection and analysis of data. The most important is leveraging existing data, not relying on surveys and manual reporting; the deficiencies of each have been well documented (Lane 2010).

Suggested Citation

  • Lane, Julia & Schwarz, Lou, 2012. "Creating New Administrative Data to Describe the Scientific Workforce: The STAR METRICS Program," IZA Discussion Papers 6600, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6600
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John J. Abowd & John Haltiwanger & Julia Lane, 2004. "Integrated Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data for the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 224-229, May.
    2. Mark A. Largent & Julia I. Lane, 2012. "STAR METRICS and the Science of Science Policy," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 29(3), pages 431-438, May.
    3. Lee Fleming & Charles King & Adam I. Juda, 2007. "Small Worlds and Regional Innovation," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(6), pages 938-954, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    scientific workforce; administrative data; science policy; STAR METRICS;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy

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