Skip Navigation

ORAU finds new uses for PeerNet™ application

PeerNet application demonstration

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.

Review of meeting abstracts/presentations

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:

  • Developed an email-based call for abstracts and a submittal process to receive the abstracts.
  • Created a consistent file-naming and organization system.
  • Instructed the independent reviewers, most of whom were new to PeerNet™, on how to access and rate the merit of the abstracts. (The DEER peer review was distinctly different from the classic PeerNet review in that it did not lead up to a funding decision.)

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.

Integrating a rebuttal process into PeerNet™

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.

More peer review success stories | Scientific peer review home