Agencies to measure effects of science spending

Star Metrics program will collect data at up to 50 universities

Federal science and research agencies today announced the formation of a program to collect and analyze data on the economic effects of federal spending on science.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Science Foundation, and National Institutes of Health are collaborating with universities across the country to document the value of the federal spending in research and development in the Star Metrics program.

The data to be collected includes university administrative records to calculate the employment effects; citations data measured through publications and scientific journals to determine the effects on the scientific community, economic indicators such as patent filings and business start-ups, workforce outcomes such as local employment rates and health and environmental effects data, according to a news release.

"It is essential to document with solid evidence the returns our nation is obtaining from its investment in research and development," John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said in the release. "Star Metrics is an important element of doing just that."

The program is modeled after a demonstration project tested at seven research institutions. It will operate on a $1 million budget and involve about 50 universities.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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