Standards for High-Quality Research and Analysis

Perpetuating RAND's Tradition of High-Quality Research and Analysis

For more than 70 years, the name RAND has been synonymous with high-quality, objective research and analysis on issues at the top of the national and international policy agendas. We at the RAND Corporation are proud of that reputation, of the many studies—now tens of thousands—that have contributed to it, and of the researchers and specialists who built and sustain it. We are also proud of the ways by which we ensure that our research products and services reflect our core values of quality and objectivity.

Although internal discussions about research quality have always been an integral part of RAND culture, more than a decade ago, we decided to codify in writing the quality standards for all RAND research. We intend the written standards to serve both as a guide for those who conduct, manage, support, and evaluate the research activities at RAND and also as the set of principles by which our research units and programs shape their individual quality assurance processes.

The initial formulation of the standards grew out of a lengthy and lively "conversation about quality" in the RAND hallways and on the RAND email network. The standards were first posted on our internal web page in 1997. Since that time, they have been the subject of continual discussion and refinement. We have revised and updated the standards three times: in 1999, 2003, and 2009.

In response to suggestions by many RAND associates, clients, sponsors, and donors, we decided to share our research quality standards publicly as a way of emphasizing RAND's commitment to high-quality research and analysis.

Michael D. Rich, President and CEO

Also see: RAND's Institutional Principles