However, he said, there is some potential for confusion by users who may not fully appreciate the difference between the core series on R&D expenditures that is reported in National Patterns and the adjusted GERD series used for international comparisons. For the United States, GERD values are marginally different from reported total national R&D expenditures: the difference is driven by the omission of capital depreciation costs and a small adjustment to federal R&D in the U.S. GERD estimate. Galindo-Rueda said that NCSES may want to continue publishing a figure of R&D expenditures that incorporates capital depreciation costs to maintain the time series comparability, while reporting an improved GERD estimate in line with the Frascati Manual guidelines using the newly available data.
Being an international user of the U.S. R&D statistics, he looks forward to more timely data from NCSES. The current omission of U.S. data results in an incomplete analysis because one-third of the world’s R&D is performed in the United States (see National Science Board, 2012, Ch. 4, Fig. 4). From his experience, Galindo-Rueda said, European nations are very timely, and, among Asian nations, China provides up-to-date information. In conclusion, Galindo-Rueda highlighted the fact that National Patterns is a global statistical public good that is widely used by the international science and technology community. It is a key component of OECD’s R&D statistics and a valuable resource for analysts because it offers a long time series. NCSES’s efforts toward redesigning two of the major input surveys and the consequent survey findings will provide assistance to OECD in terms of reviewing the Frascati Manual guidelines.
Although the topic of possible additional variables was appropriately part of several workshop sessions, the steering committee for the workshop decided to devote a full session to it to stimulate more thought on an issue that is expected to become increasingly important over time. Adding new variables that reflect changes in the field will maintain the relevance of National Patterns over time. Kaye Husbands Fealing, of the Committee on National Statistics, National Research Council (NRC), provided the single presentation of this session. Her goal was to examine what variables that were not currently collected on any of the five censuses or surveys that feed into National Patterns would, if available and tabulated, be useful to National Patterns users. As study director of an NRC Panel on Developing Science, Technology, and Innovation Indicators for the Future11 given
11 This study was also sponsored by NCSES and is being conducted under by the NRC’s Committee on National Statistics in collaboration with the Committee on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy; its report is expected in 2013.