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AAMC Comments on PCORI’s Proposal for Peer Review and Release of Research Findings

November 7, 2014—The AAMC Oct. 31 submitted comments on the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)’s proposed process for peer review and public release of its primary research findings. The proposal, entitled “Getting the Word Out: PCORI’s Proposal for Peer Review of Primary Research and Public Release of Research Findings,” was presented during a September 29 public forum and October 30 webinar, and is available on the PCORI website.

In the comment letter , the AAMC commends PCORI for emphasizing the importance of peer review and ensuring research findings are made publicly available in a manner that is understandable and actionable for patients, communities, clinicians, researchers, and other stakeholders. In general, the AAMC finds that the proposed processes PCORI has outlined are thoughtful, appropriate, and consistent with the enabling legislation.

The AAMC’s letter encourages PCORI to consider modifications that would strengthen the efficiency of the peer review process and the effectiveness of the dissemination plan. Specifically, the AAMC recommends that PCORI provide a description of the context of the research findings, the relevance of the research results, and an easily comparable rating of the strength of the evidence. Posted abstracts should be appropriately indexed and tagged to allow for continued accessibility by patients and the general population. 

In addition, PCORI should ensure that differences are explained between the PCORI-posted abstract and subsequent abstracts that PCORI links to published in journals. In order to ensure consistency among posted information for PCORI supported projects, the AAMC recommends that PCORI take a leadership role, working with its investigators, in posting the abstract, the stand alone table, and ancillary information to and other sites as appropriate.

The AAMC also urges PCORI to assess the dissemination process one year after implementation to evaluate the effectiveness of focused communications for special groups of patients, especially populations where there is a longstanding history of disparities [see Washington Highlights, Oct. 3).


Alexander Ommaya, DSc, Senior Director,
Clinical and Translational Research and Policy
Telephone: 202-741-5520


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