Peer review of PCORI-funded research helps make sure the report presents complete, balanced, and useful information about the research. It also assesses how the project addressed PCORI’s Methodology Standards. During peer review, experts read a draft report of the research and provide comments about the report. These experts may include a scientist focused on the research topic, a specialist in research methods, a patient or caregiver, and a healthcare professional. These reviewers cannot have conflicts of interest with the study.
The peer reviewers point out where the draft report may need revision. For example, they may suggest ways to improve descriptions of the conduct of the study or to clarify the connection between results and conclusions. Sometimes, awardees revise their draft reports twice or more to address all of the reviewers’ comments.
The awardee made the following revisions in response to peer review:
- The awardee explained to reviewers that the project was a methods study and the clinical issues described in the methods section were not the focus and should not appear in the background section. The awardee reasoned that the background section should focus on the methodological gaps the study aimed to fill.
- The awardee shortened the description of the methods used to conduct meta-analyses and generally reduced the length of the methods section by replacing text with tables. The awardee increased the section’s readability by using shorter paragraphs.
- In the discussion section, the awardee strengthened the argument for the study’s generalizability.
- The awardee added a study limitation related to a lack of assessment of potential harms of the interventions. The awardee also noted the need for future research on the reporting of harms in different data sources.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
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