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Process Improvement

Two men discuss ways to improve peer review processes

After finding academic reviewers and conducting peer reviews, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) uses process evaluation techniques to identify opportunities for continuous improvement. Input from independent reviewers, sponsors and ORISE staff are combined to identify ways to strengthen and broaden ORISE’s peer review capabilities, as well as identify new, more efficient processes.

Evaluation surveys are distributed immediately following each objective review. Results from those evaluations are tabulated and carefully examined for trends, opportunities for improvement, and items or processes that already work well. We then use this feedback to implement improvements in future peer review management efforts.

Examples of implemented process improvements include:

  • Flexible scoring for both numerical and narrative data
  • Electronic document distribution through ORISE’s Web-based PeerNet
  • Downloadable, industry-standard reports for sponsors
  • Established contracts with meeting facilities to provide cost-effective and private meeting environments with the technology infrastructure necessary for offsite panel reviews and workshops
  • Minimized financial obligation of scientific reviewers through coverage of more out-of-pocket expenses up front and quicker turnaround of reimbursements