tions for a successful conversion of the program from a survey-only to an integrated survey-administrative record approach are not yet in place. For example, the FFATA-enhanced administrative databases on contracts and grants are still maturing, and little work has yet been done with the major reporting agencies to set the basis for direct SRS exploitation of their administrative records.
Several initiatives in the short term, however, would position SRS to effectively seize the moment when the preconditions for conversion of the program are in place. One approach would be to set up a series of demonstration projects to help determine good ways to transition to a system based at least in part on administrative data.
The initial demonstration projects could be based on lessons learned by NIH in developing the RCDC system. With selected large reporting agencies, SRS could explore what would be necessary to develop agency-appropriate approaches to a more comprehensive system—in one set of demonstrations, using the current agency administrative databases to test mining for terms that could yield field of S&E taxonomic elements and, in another, perhaps testing the development of cross-walks between program/projects and fields.
Such demonstration projects, conducted by the reporting agencies in conjunction with the implementation of government-wide administrative record improvement programs (and, one hopes, partially funded by those initiatives) could help illuminate the way to identify fields of S&E in data records at the program and project level, using the text-based technologies described in Chapter 5.
Recommendation 4-3: The Division of Science Resources Statistics should initiate work with other federal agencies to develop several demonstration projects to test for the best methods to move to a system based at least partly on administrative records.