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illuminates only a portion of the research process. In other words, numbers of papers, patents, or citations should be used as indicators of the generation of innovative technologies, but they do not by themselves necessarily illuminate the most promising or important activities in a field. An experiment in mathematics by NSF that produced results similar to COSEPUP's mathematics study also lends credence to the benchmarking technique despite differences in the makeup and mandates of the two panels. 7

1.3 Organization of this Report

In Chapter 2 the panel provides its assessment of methods being used by agencies to comply with GPRA. Chapter 3 discusses some difficulties in communication between agencies, oversight bodies, and the public about GPRA. Chapter 4 provides the panel's general conclusions and recommendations.


7 National Science Foundation, Report of the Senior Assessment Panel of the International Assessment of the US Mathematical Sciences, Arlington, VA, March 1998.



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