HHS Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated to the Public. VII. Influential Scientific, Financial and Statistical Information


The Information Quality Guidelines require that "influential" scientific, financial, or statistical information in official Government documents must be based on studies that can be substantially reproduced if the original or supporting data were to be independently re-analyzed using the same methods. "Influential" when used in the phrase "influential scientific, financial, or statistical information" means that SAMHSA can reasonably determine that dissemination of the information will have or does have a clear and substantial impact on important public policies or important private sector decisions or will have important consequences for specific health practices, technologies, substances, products, firms, etc.

SAMHSA is committed to applying rigorous scientific standards to ensure the accuracy and reliability of research results. For scientific and technical documents, the scientific community recognizes peer review as the primary mean of quality control.

To facilitate the replication of scientific and other influential information by qualified third parties, SAMHSA continues to encourage the sharing of data and methods where practicable. Since the influence and implications of SAMHSA-disseminated information cannot always be truly anticipated, all SAMHSA scientific reports are expected to state clearly how analytic results were generated -- the specific data and sources used, data collection methodologies, various hypotheses and assumptions, specific analytic methods, statistical procedures, sources of bias or measurement error -- making the analysis sufficiently transparent so as to be capable of being reproduced. SAMHSA advocates the archiving of data through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive or similar archive of publicly available data to facilitate the reproducibility of influential information.