Protecting and Accessing Data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates

A Workshop Summary

Thomas J. Plewes, Rapporteur

Committee on National Statistics

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
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Protecting and Accessing Data from the Sur vey of Earned Doctorates A W o r kshop S umm ar y Thomas J. Plewes, Rapporteur Committee on National Statistics Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the steering committee for the workshop were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support of the work of the Committee on National Statistics is provided by a consor- tium of federal agencies through a grant from the National Science Foundation (award number SES-0453930). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-14667-8 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-14667-4 Additional copies of this report are available from National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334- 3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2010). Protecting and Accessing Data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates: A Workshop Summary. Thomas J. Plewes, Rappor- teur. Committee on National Statistics, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a man- date that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the Na- tional Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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STEERING COMMITTEE FOR A REVIEW OF CONFIDENTIALITY CRITERIA FOR STATISTICS FROM THE SURVEY OF EARNED DOCTORATES BARBARA A. BAILAR (Chair), Consultant, Washington, DC ROBERT F. BORUCH, Graduate School of Education and Statistics, University of Pennsylvania SCOTT HOLAN, Department of Statistics, University of Missouri–Columbia WILLIE PEARSON, JR., School of History, Technology and Society, Georgia Institute of Technology ANNE C. PETERSEN, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University ROBERT SANTOS, The Urban Institute, Washington, DC MARk S. SCHNEIDER, American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC LATANyA SWEENEy, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University THOMAS J. PLEWES, Study Director MICHAEL J. SIRI, Program Associate v

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COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS 2008–2009 WILLIAM F. EDDy (Chair), Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University kATHARINE ABRAHAM, Department of Economics and Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland ALICIA CARRIqUIRy, Department of Statistics, Iowa State University WILLIAM DuMOUCHEL, Phase Forward, Inc., Waltham, MA JOHN HALTIWANGER, Department of Economics, University of Maryland V. JOSEPH HOTz, Department of Economics, Duke University kAREN kAFADAR, Department of Statistics, Indiana University DOUGLAS MASSEy, Department of Sociology, Princeton University SALLy MORTON, Statistics and Epidemiology, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC JOSEPH NEWHOUSE, Division of Health Policy Research and Education, Harvard University SAMUEL H. PRESTON, Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania HAL STERN, Department of Statistics, University of California, Irvine ROGER TOURANGEAU, Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland ALAN zASLAVSky, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School CONSTANCE F. CITRO, Director vi

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Acknowledgments T his report summarizes the proceedings of a workshop to review confidentiality criteria for the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) of the National Science Foundation (NSF). The workshop was sponsored by NSF and convened by the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT), Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, of the National Research Council (NRC). We thank the experts in survey methodology, confidentiality and pri- vacy policy, and data masking and suppression techniques and the users of science and engineering human resources statistics who served on the steering committee. They provided invaluable guidance during the course of developing the workshop, in the process of securing expert presentations, and in conducting the workshop. Although the steering committee played a central role in designing and conducting the workshop, it did not actively participate in writing this workshop summary. The staff of NSF’s Division of Science Resources Statistics played an important role in preparing for and conducting the workshop. As back- ground for the workshop, this staff prepared a substantial paper describing the new disclosure protection strategies that the agency proposed to adopt in publishing future editions of the race, gender, and ethnicity tables for SED. Under the leadership of Lynda Carlson and her deputy, Mary Frase, the division staff went to great lengths to assemble information and present it to the workshop in a concise and useful manner. Mark Fiegener, the survey manager, and Steve Cohen, the division’s chief statistician, were the primary vii

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viii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS authors of that background paper. Fiegener also served as the primary point of coordination between the steering committee and NSF. The presentations in the workshop were designed to shed light on various issues involved in selecting appropriate confidentiality criteria for statistics from SED. The task of describing the context for the protection of confidential data in the federal government fell to Brian Harris-kojetin of the Statistical and Science Policy Office, Office of Information and Regula- tory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, and to Alvan zarate, a con- sultant who previously served as the confidentiality officer of the National Center for Health Statistics. Mark Fiegener and Steve Cohen gave presentations on the options that NSF faced when trying to achieve a balance between protecting the data from SED and making them accessible to the many users of the infor- mation. The input of users of the survey data was summarized by Shirley McBay, of the quality Education for Minorities Network. Jacob Bournazian of the Energy Information Agency summarized emerging models across the federal government for ensuring access while maintaining confidentiality. Jerome Reiter of Duke University discussed the emerging field of disclosure risk assessments. Latanya Sweeney, a member of the steering committee, was also scheduled to discuss disclosure risk but was unable to participate in the workshop. The steering committee also acknowledges the excellent work of the staff of CNSTAT and the NRC for support in developing and organizing the workshop and this report. Under the direction of Constance Citro, director of CNSTAT, the study director, Thomas Plewes, provided valuable assistance to the steering committee in organizing the meetings and serving as rapporteur for the workshop. He was ably assisted by Michael Siri, also on the staff of CNSTAT. This workshop summary was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the NRC. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and criti- cal comments that assist the institution in making its report as sound as possible, and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. The panel thanks the following individuals for their review of this report: Barbara A. Bailar, consultant, Washington, DC; Craig Calhoun,

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ix ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Office of the President, Social Science Research Council, Brooklyn, Ny; George T. Duncan, Department of Statistics, Emeritus, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University; Willie Pearson, Jr., School of History, Technol- ogy and Society, Georgia Institute of Technology; kenneth E. Redd, Re- search and Policy Analysis, National Association of College and University Business Officers, Washington, DC; and Nora Cate Schaeffer, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin–Madison. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Eleanor Singer, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. Appointed by the NRC, she was respon- sible for making certain that the independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of the report rests entirely with the author and the institution.

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Contents 1 Introduction 1 2 Context for the Protection of Confidential Data 7 3 National Science Foundation Options, Decision, and Impact 15 4 User Requirements 27 5 Ensuring Access and Confidentiality 34 6 Participant Views and Unresolved Issues 44 References 47 Appendixes A Workshop Agenda and Participants 49 B Biographical Sketches of Steering Committee Members 53 xi

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