The Importance of peer review in the scientific process : Hanford Thyroid Disease Study (HTDS)
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The Importance of peer review in the scientific process : Hanford Thyroid Disease Study (HTDS)

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      The goal of the Hanford Thyroid Disease Study is to identify any possible link between past exposures to I-131 from the Hanford facility and the risk of thyroid disease. Because of both the public health implications and the complex scientific issues associated with this study, it is critically important that each step in the assessment be openly and objectively evaluated not only by the affected public, but also by the scientific community. This type of technical evaluation, often called peer review, is a critical component in the scientific process.

      Peer review ensures that the scientists conducting the study apply methods that are appropriate to the problem being investigated, it promotes the free exchange and discussion of ideas, and often leads to improvements in both the analysis and the presentation of the study data. In addition, review of the study methods and results by knowledgeable, yet objective, experts can increase the credibility of the work within both the scientific and public communities. Usually, to ensure objectivity, the peer review process is confidential with unknown reviewers evaluating the work of unidentified investigators. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is committed to public involvement. This means that since its inception, the Hanford Thyroid Disease Study has been conducted with complete openness to public scrutiny. The CDC is dedicated to continuing this openness throughout the review process for the draft Hanford Thyroid Disease Study Report.

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