Most federal regulatory agencies in the United States government must comply with specific peer review requirements before the agencies publicly disseminate certain scientific information. These requirements were published in a Peer Review Bulletin issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget („OMB“), which establishes „government-wide standards concerning when peer review is required and, if required, what type of per review processes are appropriate.“
OMB’s peer review bulletin requires that US federal regulatory agencies submit all „influential scientific information“ to peer review before the information is publicly disseminated. The Bulletin defines „scientific information“ as:
This Bulletin defines „influential scientific information“ as
As noted in the preceding quotation, the Bulletin must be read in conjunction with „OMB’s government-wide information quality guidelines and the information quality guidelines of the agency.“ These guidelines govern the quality of all information disseminated by most US government regulatory agencies. These guidelines are required by a US statute enacted in 2001 called the Data Quality Act and also known as the Information Quality Act („IQA“). OMB states that it prepared the peer review Bulletin pursuant to OMB’s authority under the IQA.
The peer review Bulletin provides detailed guidelines for peer review of influential scientific information. The Bulletin applies more stringent peer review requirements to „highly influential scientific assessments,“
The peer review Bulletin’s specific guidelines differ in several respects from traditional peer review practices at most journals. For example, the Bulletin requires public disclosure of peer reviewers‘ identities when they are reviewing highly influential scientific assessments. The Bulletin’s summary of some of these requirements is set forth below:
The peer review Bulletin specifically addresses the effect of publication in a refereed scientific journal as well the variations and limitations with peer review: