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HUMANITIES DOCTORATES IN THE UNITED STATES: 1991 PROFILE INTRODUCTION The following report presents information collected from the 1991 Survey of Humanities Doctorates. This survey is the tenth in a series initiated in 1973 by the National Research Council (NRC) in response to the needs of the federal government for demographic and employment information on individuals trained to the doctoral level. This series--called the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR) project--originally included only doctoral scientists and engineers, but was expanded in 1977 to include humanities doctorates.1 The purpose of the SDR has been, since its inception, to generate estimates of the number of holders of research doctorates who reside in the United States and to characterize their employment patterns. The sampling frame for the SDR is the Doctorate Records File (DRF), a census of all research doctorates earned in the United States since 1920.2 Estimates in this report are based on a sample of 8,894 humanities doctorates, drawn from a DRF population of 105,715. Data were collected through a self-administered mail questionnaire (see Appendix B for a copy of the survey materials), followed by telephone interviewing with a sample of about 60 percent of the individuals who did not respond to the mail survey. The mail survey was conducted between October 1991 and January 1992; telephone followup took place between March and July 1992. Appendix C discusses the survey methods and outcomes, including response rates, sampling and nonsampling error, and weighting procedures. This report focuses on those doctorates who earned their degrees in a humanities field from a U.S. institution between January 1942 and June 1990 and were less than 76 years of age in 1991. Chapter 1 describes the size and composition of this population, including such characteristics as gender, racial/ethnic identification, age, and citizenship. Chapter 2 presents an employment profile of the humanities population in 1991 and includes data on employment status, type of employer, primary work activity, and median annual salary. For selected variables, data are presented to allow comparisons by gender or by years since award of doctorate. Chapter 3 presents characteristics of humanists employed in the academic sector (including 4-year colleges, universities, medical schools, and junior colleges). Because of changes in the survey methodology in 1991, only limited time-series tables are included in this report (see Appendix D). These were produced by applying the 1991 changes to data from earlier years and limiting the 1991 data to mail responses only 1 The doctoral degree categories that define the humanities include American history; “other history” (history and philosophy of science, European history, history of other countries, and unspecified history); art history; music; speech/theater; philosophy; English and American languages and literature; classical languages and literature; modern languages and literature; and “other humanities” (linguistics, archeology, American studies, religious studies, and unspecified other humanities). 2 The DRF is maintained by the National Research Council under contract to the National Science Foundation.
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HUMANITIES DOCTORATES IN THE UNITED STATES: 1991 PROFILE in order to control for the effects of the higher response rate (mail and telephone combined). Readers are cautioned against making comparisons between data in this report and data presented in earlier Profile reports; only the indexed tables in Appendix D are valid for this purpose.
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