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Bullet peer-review · Feb 27, 2017

AIBS Publications Inform Health Research Policy in Canada

AIBS research and publications on the science of peer review have recently had some significant impact on research policy making in Canada.

The Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has issued a report from their international peer review expert panel which convened in mid-January 2017 to discuss reforms to the Canadian research funding process (initiated in 2009), which have lead to an erosion of trust between CIHR and its stakeholders (the report can be found here).

Many of these reforms were related to the peer review process and in this report, with the noted overall lack of evidence in the literature on these processes, AIBS publications were referenced heavily. From past AIBS research, evidence for the relative effectiveness of teleconference panels was cited. Our most recent publication was also referred to in the discussion about relative scientific expertise and bias, which has implications on how CIHR currently recruits reviewers. Our work about the detection of conflicts of interest was also mentioned.

Based on this literature analysis and the lessons learned from previous implementations, the panel suggests teleconference panels are still an appropriate and cost-efficient option, and suggests current expertise recruitment methods need to be altered to include specialists and generalists as well as more reliance on the international community of scientists.