Peer review is scientific quality control. It is standard practice for scientists to seek impartial review of their work before publication. However in the applied context of management and decision-making, peer review takes on additional functions. It acts to reassure decision-makers, stake-holders and others that the science being used is well crafted. Several laws (IQA, WRDA, et al) and many agency policies now require peer review of scientific material, and peer review is usually held to be the ‘gold-standard’ with which to determine what is ‘the best available science’ (at the heart of many government decision processes) .
Peer reviews are meant to be entirely scientific or technical. It is essential to maintain the independence of the peer review process, and to carefully select reviewers and help them be objective and science-focused. This is also a requirement in order to meet the dictates of the laws and policies mentioned above, as well as the additional constraints of NEPA , APA and FACA.
RESOLVE’s approach to peer review
RESOLVE staff have over twenty years of developing high-caliber scientific peer review for government, NGO and private clients. Our goal is to provide clear processes that are focused on the scientific issues. We have recruited over 1,000 highly-qualified scientists (from academia, NGOs, government and elsewhere) that are available to provide support in a wide range of technical issues. Particular focus areas are:
- Environmental Health
- Endangered Species
We currently hold two government IDIQ contracts to provide on-call support for peer review for the Department of the Interior, and for EPA. RESOLVE has also co-authored a report for the US Fish and Wildlife Service on how to conduct scientific peer review, available here.
Well-crafted peer review builds decision-maker and public confidence. RESOLVE reviews are carried out by well-qualified scientists, in a clearly documented and transparent process. Reviews are administered so as to address only technical or science issues, and avoid making statements on management of policy. For all these reasons, RESOLVE peer reviews are administered by our in-house science staff who facilitate the interaction among scientists, as well as discussions between scientists and managers.
Examples of RESOLVE peer reviews
- Peer Review of the Science Used in the NPS’s Draft EIS Drakes Bay Oyster Company Special Use Permit
- Science Review of the Testimony in the Delta Smelt Cases
- Wyoming Gray Wolf Peer Review
- Science Review of the USFS Draft EIS for National Forest System Land Management
- Scientific Review of the Draft Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Plan and Reviewer Comments
- Evaluation of the scientific information regarding Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse
- Scientific evaluation of the status of the Northern Spotted Owl