Research: A National Resource ...

Research: A National Resource ...

Research: A National Resource ...

Research: A National Resource ...

Excerpt

Purpose of a Report on Expenditures for Research

Research is an integral part of the activities of any agency that is trying to do efficient work. Consciousness that changes occur in the conditions affecting its work should be sufficient incentive to any organization to keep informed of these changes and to devise improved procedures for dealing with them. Especially in a governmental organization, whether a single bureau or the Federal Government as a whole, economy and efficiency are made possible by collection and analysis of information needed to plan work more effectively, and by the habitual investigation of possible improved techniques or of promising new devices. On the other hand, failure to undertake such investigation may be justly criticized as a dereliction of duty and signs of probable extravagance, inefficiency, and increasing obsolescence. Hence, a survey of research activities has particular pertinence in giving prima facie evidence of the existence of vitality and progress.

There are three possible devices for surveying Federal agencies to discover the extent and distribution of research activities. One device is an annotated inventory of the nature and purposes of research projects in process or recently completed within each agency. While such an inventory would yield more information about research activities than any other kind of summary, the services of specialists in several different fields would be required to comprehend and describe effectively the activities enumerated, and the results could not be conveniently summarized or used for inter-agency comparisons. A second device is a summary of research positions or research personnel among the different agencies or their constituent activities. A limitation to the usefulness of this approach is its implication that "research" is coexistent with the activities of . . .

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