paring numbers of citations of U.S. researchers with those of researchers in other countries)

  • Prizes awarded to researchers (national comparisons)

  • Invited papers at major international conferences or research at foreign laboratories

  • Number of publications in highly cited journals of international scope

  1. The effectiveness of a field in implementing any previously established research priorities

    • Patterns of funding by government agencies

    • Bibliometric and citation analysis

  2. The effectiveness or efficiency of practitioners of a field in their use of resources

    • Use of funding (allocation of grants according to categories of activities)

    • Use of time (surveys of researchers regarding the distribution of their time spent on “productive” and “nonproductive” tasks)

    • Use of facilities (statistics on usage patterns of major observational or experimental facilities)

    • Use of supporting equipment (e.g., time spent on various uses of computers and networks)

  3. The effectiveness of managers within a field in their use of resources

    • Funding of highest-priority research objectives and functions

    • On-time and on-budget procurements of major facilities

    • Comparisons with other similar disciplines or with other nations regarding the issues related to the preceding two bulleted items

Measuring the impact of a discipline on other disciplines would likely provide an important indication of the discipline's intellectual vigor and its value to the broader scientific community. The major sources of data for tracing the impact of a discipline on other disciplines (and vice versa) are bibliometric and citation data and the various demographic surveys. Potential indicators that may merit further investigation include:

  • National and international cross-discipline collaboration and co-authorship (citation analysis),

  • Employment outside the discipline in other scientific fields (demographic data),

  • Number of B.S./M.S. graduates in a discipline who earn M.S./Ph.D. degrees in other fields, and

  • Awards from or invitations to give lectures to groups in other disciplines.


“Adaptability” was defined by the Commission as the demonstrated capability of a field to adjust to changes in scientific opportunities, levels of support, and national needs. It certainly is possible to think of indicators based on demographic, support, and output data that might be useful in characterizing the collective response of members of a discipline to a particular change in one of these categories. For example, the number of proposals received in response to an initiative announced by a

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