The electronic Scientific Portfolio Assistant: Integrating scientific knowledge databases to support program impact assessment

Haak, Laurel L.; Ferriss, Will; Wright, Kevin; Pollard, Michael E.; Barden, Kirk; Probus, Matt A.; Tartakovsky, Michael; Hackett, Charles J.
August 2012
Science & Public Policy (SPP);Aug2012, Vol. 39 Issue 4, p464
Academic Journal
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports basic and applied biomedical research by funding grants and contracts. To measure the outcomes and impact of their programs, NIH staff conduct program evaluations and undertake targeted investigations of research portfolios. Recently, the NIH launched the electronic scientific portfolio assistant (eSPA), a web-based analytics system based on linked scientific databases that provides quantitative information for program officers and planning and evaluation officials managing research portfolios. This system has improved the ability to create and collaboratively refine research portfolios, has reduced the time needed to collect and link outcomes data such as publications and patents, and is providing information used to support research management decisions. After describing the eSPA system, we provide examples of three eSPA evaluation projects that illustrate the impact of this system on NIH evaluation objectives.


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