Performance Improvement 2011-2012. Does a Two-Stage Editorial Board Review Process Enhance Traditional NIH Peer Review?

01/01/2012

The NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) conducted a pilot study to examine whether the Two-Stage or Editorial Board Review would enhance traditional peer review of grant applications. At Stage 1, two to three specialist mail reviewers, known as the Editorial Board, evaluated each application on technical merit. At Stage 2, reviewers with broader expertise, called Editors, met in-person to discuss the impact and significance of the science. Stage 1 reviewers provided written critiques but no scores; Stage 2 reviewers scored the applications. Surveys measured the participants' overall level of satisfaction with the process including the rigor and quality of the review, the level of burden on the reviewers, and the adequacy of the instructions provided.

Participants were generally satisfied with the format and outcomes of the Two-Stage review process. Furthermore, the results indicated that the Two-Stage review process offered several enhancements relative to traditional peer review, including greater emphasis on peer review criteria and expanded access to technical expertise.

Report Title: CSR Evaluation Support Services: Editorial Board (Two-Stage) Review Survey Report
Agency Sponsor: NIH, National Institutes of Health
Federal Contact: Rosanna Ng, 301-496-5367
Performer: Abt Associates, Inc.
Record ID: 9394 (Report issued September 21, 2010)

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