How do I find research and development costs for a company?

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According to GAAP rules, all public companies have to report Research and Development (R&D) costs in their annual income statement. Many companies do so in a specific line in their annual income statement conveniently called "Research & development costs." To find this data, we recommend using the Mergent Online resource available to SMC users. 

Search for your company in Mergent Online. When you open the record for your company, you'll see a tab for "Company Financials." Click on this tab, and you see that the annual "Balance Sheet" is the default data set. From the drop down menu, you can select "Income Statement," and after hitting "refresh," that data set will be visible. Scroll until you see the line for "Research & development costs." 

While GAAP requires this expense to be reported, they do not require they be reported in this specific line. If the company you are looking for has no data in that line, they have probably chosen to report those expenses in a different line. Talk to your instructor about which lines you might want to examine instead.