The National Science Foundation (NSF) has long collected information on the number and characteristics of individuals with education or employment in science and engineering and related fields in the United States. An important motivation for this effort is to fulfill a congressional mandate to monitor the status of women and minorities in the science and engineering workforce. Consequently, many statistics are calculated by race or ethnicity, gender, and disability status. For more than 25 years, NSF obtained a sample frame for identifying the target population for information it gathered from the list of respondents to the decennial census long-form who indicated that they had earned a bachelors or higher degree. The probability that an individual was sampled from this list was dependent on both demographic and employment characteristics. But, the source for the sample frame will no longer be available because the census long-form is being replaced as of the 2010 census with the continuous collection of detailed demographic and other information in the new American Community Survey (ACS). At the request of NSF's Science Resources Statistics Division, the Committee on National Statistics of the National Research Council formed a panel to conduct a workshop and study the issues involved in replacing the decennial census long-form sample with a sample from the ACS to serve as the frame for the information the NSF gathers. The workshop had the specific objective of identifying issues for the collection of field of degree information on the ACS with regard to goals, content, statistical methodology, data quality, and data products.
National Research Council. Using the American Community Survey for the National Science Foundation's Science and Engineering Workforce Statistics Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2008.
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