National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) researchers generally disseminate their agency-funded research results through publications, presentations, agency releases, and media interviews. In 2007, GAO reviewed dissemination policies at NASA and two other agencies and found that NASA's policies were generally clear, but GAO's survey of NASA researchers raised concerns that many of them did not understand some of the policies and were generally unaware of how to appeal dissemination decisions. Congress in 2008 directed GAO to determine whether NASA is implementing its policies in a clear and consistent manner. To meet that requirement, GAO determined (1) what changes have been made to NASA's policies since 2007, (2) the views of NASA researchers on whether the policies have been more effectively communicated since 2007, and (3) what changes have occurred since 2007 in NASA's processes for researchers to follow if they wish to appeal decisions about the dissemination of their research results. GAO conducted a Web-based survey of all 2,790 NASA researchers and had a 57.5 percent response rate.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|National Aeronautics and Space Administration||1. To strengthen NASA's efforts to better inform its researchers and ensure that the policies guiding researchers and public affairs officials in their efforts to disseminate research results to other scientists and the public are well understood, the NASA Administrator should direct officials responsible for dissemination of research results through all routes to include in their efforts to inform researchers a focus on the processes researchers are to follow when they wish to appeal decisions.|