Within the NSF is the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), a federal statistical agency.
As mandated by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, the mission of NCSES is to serve as a central Federal
clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, analysis, and dissemination of objective data on science, engineering,
technology, and research and development. To accomplish this mission, NCSES is tasked to collect, acquire, analyze,
report, and disseminate statistical data related to the science and engineering enterprise in the United States and
other nations that is relevant and useful to practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and the public, including statistical data on--
- research and development trands;
- the science and engineering workforce;
- United States competitiveness in science, engineering, technology, and research and development; and
- the condition and progress of United States STEM education.
Prior to the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, information for the SDR was collected under authority provided
to NSF in the National Science Foundation Act of 1950. That Act states, "The National Science Foundation is authorized to
provide a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, and analysis of data on scientific and engineering
resources and to provide a source of information for policy formulation by other agencies of the Federal government."