The process of writing and editing an assessment is unique, and different from the process of writing and editing a scientific journal article. In the interest of achieving the highest level of scientific credibility, the California Nitrogen Assessment follows the basic peer review methodology of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is a transparent process of writing and review. A large number of reviewers are being asked to participate, and these reviewers come from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Together, they evaluate the comprehensiveness of the research, balance in presentation of evidence, and validity of our interpretations.
The assessment will be undergoing two rounds of review. The first, focusing on scientific reviewers will be followed by a period of author response. The revised document will then be sent out to our Stakeholder Advisory Committee, followed by an open public comment period, and a second round of author response. During each stage, authors are required to respond to all comments received and review editors act as referees to judge the adequacy of our responses.
information and materials on each stage of review:
There are many ways to participate in the assessment writing process:
- Lead authors and co-authors: The writing of the assessment document is led by the assessment team – including ASI’s project scientists (PIs, fellows, and affiliated faculty here at UC Davis). Other contributing authors may become involved depending on their level of interest and fields of expertise.
- Scientific reviewers: These reviewers represent a wide range of academic fields and areas of expertise. They review the assessment document to make sure it is scientifically sound.
- Stakeholder reviewers: These reviewers include scientists, representatives from NGOs and industry, and others – all with the idea that a wide range of perspectives are represented. This group of reviewers includes members of the assessment’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee, but the assessment will also be made available to the public for review and comments.
- Review editors: These reviewers (who have expertise in relevant topics) serve as independent “referees” to oversee the process that incorporates comments from academic and stakeholder reviewers, ensuring that every review comment is considered by the lead authors and that it receives appropriate attention and a response from the assessment team.
- Schedule: The assessment is currently in the scientific review process. We anticipate that stakeholder review will begin by fall of 2013.
- Responding to comments: Lead authors will consider and respond to all comments submitted during review. The review editors will oversee this iterative process, and review comments will be transparently displayed along with author responses.