START Conference Manager    

ASIST 2012 Annual Meeting 
Baltimore, MD, October 26-30, 2012

Measuring Science: Emerging Tools for Analysis of Federal R+D Investments
Melissa Cragin, Leah Nichols, Michael Simon and Sean Watts

Monday, 3:30pm


Assessment of federal funding for scientific research and development (R+D) has broad relevance across academia, government and industry. Over the last 20 years, public policy decision-makers and federal administrators have generated legislation and guidelines for the development of new tools to support deeper understanding of R+D investments. Led by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, STAR METRICS and Research.Gov are two new R+D information systems. Following an overview of these systems and tools, we will present the findings of two portfolio analysis projects: The first applied a topic model approach to uncover gaps in the current coverage of funding regarding the social aspects of "environmental sustainability;" the second project generated a novel conceptual framework to identify awards and assess outcome-based contributions to "the BioEconomy." We conclude with a presentation on the tensions that lie at the intersection of the philosophy of science and portfolio assessment for science policy, and a discussion on implications for the wider use of these new systems.