NARSTO frequently conducts internal peer reviews of its emerging written products, in preparation for their final publication and delivery to the stakeholder and client communities. These written products may take any of several forms, such as formal reports, journal articles, or major contributions such as the Ozone Assessment Document.
Depending on the type of publication, internal NARSTO reviews may serve as stand-alone commentary, or they may supplement additional reviews performed externally. Internal reviews have consistent purposes and implications, however, regardless of the written product. These purposes and implications are defined in this guideline document, which is prepared by the Executive Steering Committee in concordance with Article 3, Section 2e of the NARSTO Charter.
Purposes of Internal Reviews
NARSTO desires to provide its clients and stakeholders with products that are of the highest possible scientific quality, and are presented in a form that is directly useful by other scientists as well as by policy analysts addressing pollution-management applications. Reflecting this, the primary purpose of NARSTO’s internal reviews is to ensure that the written documents reflect this product excellence; In particular, the reviews should:
1. examine, comment on, and suggest modifications to improve scientific quality of the draft documents under review;
2. examine, comment on, and suggest modifications to improve the written communication of this material to the client and stakeholder communities; and
3. recommend whether or not and in which forum the document should be published.
In addition to recommending acceptance or rejection of a document, reviewers are requested to comment on whether a more formal review (to a wider NARSTO community, or to an external community) is desirable. Also, and in keeping with NARSTO’s intent not to recommend, advise, or suggest policy actions, the reviewers are requested to check for and comment on any manuscript areas that may exceed these bounds.
Implications of NARSTO Reviews
NARSTO scientific review process is meant to certify that the product has been examined by scientific peers and deemed to be of acceptable quality for a NARSTO product.
It is important to note that such acceptance does not imply unanimous, or even majority, endorsement or agreement by NARSTO members, nor does it imply NARSTO or member policy. This position is reflected by the following disclaimer, which will be attached inside the front page of all non-journal reports published by NARSTO, including the peer-reviewed NARSTO documents posted on the NARSTO Web site:
“This document has been subjected to internal peer review by scientists within the NARSTO community. The views and content herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of any organization within or outside NARSTO.”
Conduct of Internal Peer Reviews
Conduct of internal peer reviews shall be coordinated by the Science-Team Co-Chairs, in conjunction with the Management Coordinators. When review of a particular document is requested via the Management Coordinators, the Co-Chairs shall select appropriate scientists from their respective Science Teams for this purpose, request their input, coordinate the responses, and make final recommendations to the Executive Steering Committee for subsequent action. Final acceptance for publication shall be at the discretion of the Executive Steering Committee for minor reports. Acceptance of major reports requiring widespread external peer review will be subject to vote of the Executive Assembly.