Methodology and Data Sources
The data presented by the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program cover only research and development (R&D), not the entire federal budget, except as noted. Within the federal budget there is no separately identified R&D budget as such; nor are most appropriations for R&D so labeled except for certain program areas, such as defense. Consequently, most funds for R&D are not line items in an agency's budget but are included within general program funding. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires agencies to submit data on R&D programs as part of their annual budget submissions. Specifically, the agencies provide data (reported on MAX Schedule C as part of the budget process) on funding levels for basic research, applied research, development, R&D facilities, and major capital equipment for R&D (see Appendix 2: Definitions for the common definitions that OMB, the agencies, and AAAS use).
R&D figures rarely correspond to budget line items as found in appropriations bills or the President's budget. Agencies make determinations as to what proportion of budget line items are classified as R&D; many budget line items have both R&D and non-R&D components. Agencies also differ in their reporting. For example, some agencies classify program direction or management support as R&D; others do not.
The R&D data presented in the tables represent the agencies' best estimates of actual and proposed federal funding for R&D collected during the winter and spring by OMB and AAAS. These figures incorporate information provided to OMB in January by nearly two dozen agencies accounting for more than 99 percent of all federal R&D, and information collected by AAAS from individual agencies after the February release of the full budget. Some adjustments to the original OMB-provided data were made during February and March 2004 to reflect agency revisions, AAAS conversations with agency budget officials, agency budget documents, supplemental appropriations, emergency spending, and rescissions.
When year-to-year changes are expressed in constant dollars, the deflators used are the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) deflators from the Budget of the United States Government FY 2005, Historical Table 10.1.
Although this report relies mostly on OMB and agency data for R&D, it also relies on data from other data sources to provide a wider context for the federal R&D enterprise. When these other data sources are used, they are noted in tables and charts. The reader should be aware that although these sources use the same definitions of R&D as OMB and AAAS, there may be discrepancies between different data sources resulting from several factors: 1) the use of performer surveys rather than agency surveys; 2) the use of obligations or expenditures rather than outlays; 3) the use of a calendar year rather than the federal fiscal year (Oct. - Sept.); and 4) the use of conduct of R&D, rather than total R&D (including R&D facilities and capital equipment). The reader is advised to examine carefully the footnotes of the tables in this report.
Special Note on Table I-4, "Major Functional
Categories of R&D" and Table I-17,
"Federal Homeland Security R&D": All activities
in the federal budget are classified into 20 broad functional categories.
(AAAS separates the general science, space, and technology function into
its subfunctions of General Science and Space; AAAS also classifies medical
research in the Department of Veterans Affairs under Health rather than
Veterans Benefits and Services.) Each function often includes programs
from multiple agencies. Each R&D program is assigned to only one function,
even though the R&D activity may address several functional concerns.
For example, NASA's Earth Science program is classified under the Space
function, even though its R&D is also closely related to Natural Resources
and Environment, as well as General Science. The new Department
of Homeland Security (DHS) has R&D programs that are classified
under four different functions (defense, general science, administration
of justice, and transportation). Homeland security is a government mission
that cuts across mission lines and encompasses many agencies outside the
DHS: Table I-17, new to this edition, shows
all federal homeland security-related R&D as identified in a special
cross-cutting analysis conducted by OMB and revised by AAAS.