ORAU’s PeerNet system is well established among our customers as the standard for automated scientific peer reviews. But recently, our employees found fresh ways to use PeerNet to meet new needs of their customers.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Program—a governmental research initiative that is developing the technologies necessary to provide petroleum independence for cars and trucks—asked ORAU for suggestions on a more effective way to choose which technical posters and presentations to include at its Diesel Engine-Efficiency and Emissions Research (DEER) conference.
ORAU responded to the request by revising the PeerNet system with several new steps:
ORAU was excited that this new use of PeerNet exposed the application to a broad range of potential customers in government and industry. The Vehicle Technologies Program continues to use PeerNet for its annual DEER conference.
DOE’s Office of Fusion Energy Science determines, through an objective review process, which institutions and organizations are worthy of research funding based on proposals submitted by principal investigators (i.e., researchers).
While realizing it would take time and a substantial amount of money, this DOE office requested that ORAU create a new system giving principal investigators the ability to respond to proposal reviewer comments.
Although PeerNet did not previously have this rebuttal capability, ORAU made it happen quickly and cost-effectively by integrating the process into the current application. Only minimal staff hours were charged to the client for this task. ORAU also took extensive quality control steps to ensure the confidentiality of all involved.
The next step has been to allow for a second rebuttal, where the proposal reviewer could then respond to the principal investigator’s comments.