temporal, spatial, and demographic patterns of interest from a data set as large as the ACS (see, e.g., National Research Council, 2001:App. B). In turn, the ability to more readily identify data quality patterns should facilitate planning for in-depth research and evaluation to identify ways to improve the ACS.
Recommendation 7-7: The Census Bureau should develop and publish an ongoing quality profile for the ACS to inform users of the survey’s data quality, to guide the development of a continuing program of data quality assessments, and to identify areas for survey improvement. The Census Bureau should seek input from users on priority topics for assessment and design reports that they would find to be useful additions to the technical reports.
2006 and 2007 American Community Survey Methods Panels
“Methods panel” is a term used by the Census Bureau to refer to samples of households that are used for testing and experimentation for a continuing household survey. For the ACS, the Census Bureau fielded a 2006 methods panel (see Federal Register, vol. 70, no. 45, March 9, 2005: 11609-11610). It is planning to field a 2007 methods panel later in the year (see Federal Register, vol. 71, no. 94, Tuesday, May 16, 2006:28302-28305).
2006 ACS Methods Panel
The 2006 ACS Methods Panel (also known as the 2006 ACS Content Test) was designed to test new questionnaire content to be considered for inclusion in the ACS in 2008 and modification of existing content to improve response. The test included four stages: