Measuring science: Emerging tools for analysis of federal R&D investments

Melissa H. Cragin, Leah Nichols, Michael Simon, Sean M. Watts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Assessment of federal funding for scientific research and development (R&D) has broad relevance across academia, government and industry. Over the last 20 years, public policy decision-makers and federal administrators have generated legislation and guidelines for the development of new tools to support a deeper understanding of R&D investments. Led by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, STAR METRICS and are two new R&D data systems. Following an overview of these systems and tools, we will present the findings of two portfolio analysis projects. The first applied a topic model approach to assess the current coverage of funding regarding the social aspects of environmental sustainability. The second project generated a novel conceptual framework to identify awards and assess outcome-based contributions to the "BioEconomy." We conclude with a presentation of the political and practical challenges that emerged during the portfolio assessment for the BioEconomy, and a discussion of implications for the wider use of these new systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings of the ASIST Annual Meeting
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012


  • Data analysis and visualization
  • Science of science policy
  • Science portfolio assessment
  • Scientometrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences

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