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Peer Review Reports and Agendas

Peer Review Reports & Agendas

Background

On December 15, 2004, the Office of Management and Budget issued its Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review of "influential scientific information." The Bulletin defines "influential scientific information" as "scientific information the agency reasonably can determine will have or does have a clear and substantial impact on important public policies or private sector decisions."

The Bulletin establishes various minimum peer review requirements for all non-exempt influential scientific information. It imposes the strictest requirements on "highly influential scientific assessments."

The Bulletin explains that a "scientific assessment is an evaluation of a body of scientific or technical knowledge that typically synthesizes multiple factual inputs, data, models, assumptions, and/or applies best professional judgment to bridge uncertainties in the available information."

The Bulletin considers a "scientific assessment" to be "highly influential" if "the agency or the OIRA [OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs] Administrator determines that the dissemination could have a potential impact of more than $500 million in any one year on either the public or private sector or that the dissemination is novel, controversial, or precedent-setting, or has significant interagency interest."

DOT Peer Review Reports

DOT Peer Review Agendas

The Bulletin requires federal agencies to post on their websites a peer review agenda. An agenda describes all planned and ongoing "influential scientific information" that is subject to the Bulletin's peer review requirements, and provide other details specified by the Bulletin. The peer review information on the DOT website agenda includes a "Peer Review Plan."

The Peer Review Plan includes:

  • the timing of the review (including deferrals);
  • whether the review will be conducted through a panel or individual letters (or whether an alternative procedure will be exercised);
  • whether there will be opportunities for the public to comment on the work product to be peer reviewed, and if so, how and when these opportunities will be provided;
  • whether the agency will provide significant and relevant public comments to the peer reviewers before they conduct their review;
  • the anticipated number of reviewers (3 or fewer; 4-10; or more than 10);
  • a succinct description of the primary disciplines or expertise needed in the review;
  • whether reviewers will be selected by the agency or by a designated outside organization; and
  • whether the public, including scientific or professional societies, will be asked to nominate potential peer reviewers.

OIRA, in consultation with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will oversee implementation of the Bulletin.

OMB published the Bulletin under the Data Quality Act and other enabling authorities.

Updated: Thursday, January 10, 2013