The survey sponsor, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the contractor for data collection, Westat, are committed to protecting the anonymity of all survey respondents. The information is solicited under the authority of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (and previously the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended) and the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002. These laws require that the survey sponsors treat all information you provide as confidential. All information provided will be used only for research or statistical purposes by the survey sponsors, their contractors, and collaborating researchers for the purpose of analyzing data and preparing scientific reports and articles. Any information publicly released (such as statistical summaries) will be in a form that does not personally identify survey respondents. Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the Federal systems that transmit your data.
A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. The 2021 SDR OMB Control Number is 3145-0020 and OMB approval for this study expires on 07/31/2024.
Response is voluntary and failure to provide some or all of the requested information will not in any way adversely affect sample members.
While collecting SDR data for the NSF, Westat separates information that could identify a particular respondent from data about that person. These identifying and response data are stored separately.
Before releasing any SDR data, Westat takes great care to summarize the data in such a way as to minimize the
possibility of deductive identification of any individual in accordance with strict data confidentiality rules
established by the NSF.
All people who have access to SDR data (study staff, management, and researchers using the data) are annually trained to maintain data security and confidentiality, and have signed Data Use Agreements in which they pledge to "not use the data in the file for any purpose other than statistical reporting, analysis, or other uses as authorized by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics at NSF. Information from the files will be released only in statistical summaries which do not disclose information about any individual." At Westat, failure to comply with this agreement results in immediate job termination.