Similarly, the 13 members of the materials science and engineering panel included three non-US researchers, two US researchers-administrators in industry—all in materials science and engineering—and one US researcher in a related field. The remainder were US academic researchers in materials science and engineering.

The 14 members of the immunology panel included three non-US researchers, two US researchers-administrators in industry, and one US policy analyst, in addition to US academic researchers.

The oversight groups, charged with nominating panel members and overseeing the benchmarking experiments, were also diverse in membership, although they did not contain foreign members. Each comprised about six individuals. Two members of each oversight group were members of COSEPUP, and the remainder were representatives of related NRC commissions and boards. For example, the oversight group of the materials science and engineering panel included two COSEPUP members and members of the Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications (CPSMA), the Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems (CETS), CETS's National Materials Advisory Board (NMAB), and CPSMA's Board on Physics and Astronomy (BPA); among them were four industry researchers and three academic researchers, all from the United States.

3.2 How Panels Assessed Their Fields

Each panel used a variety of methods to assess its field; the methods depended on the disciplines within the field. The methods used included

  • The "virtual congress".

  • Citation analysis.

  • Journal-publication analysis.

  • Quantitative data analysis (for example, numbers of graduate students, degrees, and employment status).

  • Prize analysis.

  • International-congress speakers.

Each method is described in more detail below. The assessments were to be current—that is, the status of US research in the field today, not in the past (most analysis relied on information collected within the past 5-10 years). Some information, such as that provided by the virtual congress, were current.

A challenging aspect of the benchmarking exercise was the great size of the US research enterprise. In the three benchmarked fields, US researchers were found to perform a dominant portion of the world's research, as measured by numbers of publications. Because of this size

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