Federal Register: November 22, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 225)
DOCID: FR Doc E6-19608
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
National Science Foundation
DOCUMENT ACTION: Notice.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request
DATES: Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received by OMB within 30 days of publication in the Federal Register.
Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Pub. L. 104-13 (44 U.S.C. U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), and as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, the National Science Foundation invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this information collection. This is the second notice for public comment; the first was published in the Federal Register at 71 FR 51641 and no substantive comments were received regarding the materials provided. NSF is forwarding the proposed submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance simultaneously with the publication of this second notice.
Agency information collection activities; proposals, submissions, and approvals,
Title: Generic Clearance of the Science Resources Statistics Survey Improvement Projects.
OMB Approval Number: 31450174.
Abstract: Generic Clearance of the Science Resources Statistics Survey Improvement Projects. The National Science Foundation's Division of Science Resources Statistics (NSF/SRS) needs to collect timely data on constant changes in the science and technology sector and to provide the most complete and accurate information possible to policy makers in Congress and throughout government and academia. NSF/SRS conducts many surveys to obtain the data for these purposes. The Generic Clearance will be used to ensure that the highest quality data are obtained from these surveys. Stateoftheart methodology will be used to develop, evaluate, and test questionnaires and survey concepts as well as to improve survey methodology. This may include field or pilot tests of questions for future largescale surveys, as needed.
Expected Respondents: The respondents will be from industry,
academia, nonprofit organizations, members of the public, and state,
local, and federal governments. Respondents will be either individuals
or institutions, depending upon the survey under investigation.
Qualitative procedures will generally be conducted in person or over
the phone, but quantitative procedures may be conducted using mail, web, email, or phone modes, depending on the topic under
investigation. Up to 19,150 respondents will be contacted across all survey improvement projects. No respondent will be contacted more than twice in one year under this generic clearance. Every effort will be made to use technology to limit the burden on respondents from small entities.
Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be used to improve NSF's current data collection instruments and processes and to reduce respondent burden, as well as to develop new surveys. Qualitative methods include, but are not limited to, expert review; exploratory, cognitive, and usability interviews; focus groups; and respondent debriefings. Cognitive and usability interviews may include the use of scenarios, paraphrasing, card sorts, vignette classifications, and rating tasks. Quantitative methods include, but are not limited to, telephone surveys, behavior coding, split panel tests, and field tests.
Information being collected is not considered sensitive. In general, assurances of data confidentiality will not be provided to respondents in the pretests. Instead, respondents have the option of requesting that any and all data they provide be kept confidential.
Use of the Information: The purpose of these studies is to use the latest and most appropriate methodology to improve NSF surveys. The data will be used internally to improve NSF surveys. Methodological findings may be presented externally in technical papers at conferences, published in the proceedings of conferences, or in journals. Improved NSF surveys will help policy makers in decisions on research and development funding, graduate education, scientific and technical workforce, regulations, and reporting guidelines, as well as contributing to reduced survey costs.
Burden on the Public: NSF estimates that a total reporting and
recordkeeping burden of 14,950 hours will result from activities to improve its surveys. The calculation is:
Table 1.Anticipated Surveys To Undertake Improvement Projects, Along With the Number of Respondents and Burden Hours per Survey for Three Year Period
Survey Name respondents\1\ Hours Graduate Student Survey................. \2\ 5,000 3,000 SESTAT Surveys.......................... 10,000 5,000 Postdoc Project......................... 800 1,600 New and Redesigned R&D Surveys:
Academic R&D........................ 600 1,200
Government R&D...................... 50 100
Nonprofit R&D....................... 200 100
Industry R&D........................ 500 2,000
Survey of Scientific & Engineering 300 150 Facilities.............................
Public Understanding of S&E Surveys..... 200 50 Survey of Earned Doctorates............. 300 550 Additional surveys not specified........ 1,200 1,200
Total........................... 19,150 14,950 \1\ Number of respondents listed for any individual survey may represent several methodological improvement projects.
\2\ This number refers to the science, engineering, and healthrelated departments within the academic institutions of the United States (not the academic institutions themselves).
Comments: Comments are invited on (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB
approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.
Dated: November 15, 2006.
Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.
[FR Doc. E619608 Filed 112106; 8:45 am]
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