own individual report.1 The individual reports were submitted to COSEPUP and published in a single report with an overview by COSEPUP.2 The resulting benchmarking study on materials science is of particular interest to this report, which requires an understanding of the status of MSE R&D in the United States relative to the rest of the world.3

THE 2000 BENCHMARKING REPORT

In 1997 COSEPUP organized a benchmarking experiment that resulted in the 2000 benchmarking report. The experiment was carried out for three fields—mathematics, materials, and immunology—to learn if research leadership in a field could be assessed in a timely fashion at a reasonable cost. It examined the position of U.S. research in the selected field relative to research being carried out in other regions/countries; predicted relative U.S. future status based on the observed trends; and identified the key determinants of U.S. performance in the fields. Assessment tools for the studies in all three research fields were these:

  • A “virtual” congress, with each panel asked to identify key invitees to a hypothetical international congress convened to address five or six hot topics. The aim was to identify the best of the best researchers from around the world and then use the information to construct tables ranking countries by the number of nominated invitees;

  • Citation and journal analysis;

  • Quantitative data such as the number of graduate students and subfield funding;

  • Prize analysis; and

  • Analysis of actual international congress speakers.

1  

National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, International Benchmarking of U.S. Mathematics Research, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press (1997); National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, International Benchmarking of U.S. Materials Science and Engineering Research, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press (1998); National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, International Benchmarking of US Immunology Research, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press (1999).

2  

National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, Experiments in International Benchmarking of U.S. Research Fields, Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press (2000); referred to hereinafter as the “2000 benchmarking report.”

3  

It was not within the scope of this study to repeat the complete benchmarking process recommended and executed in the 2000 benchmarking report.



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