Peer Reviews

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued guidelines for the peer review of important scientific information before it is disseminated by the Federal Government. OMB published its "Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review" in the Federal Register on January 14, 2005, at 70 FR 2664-2677. The Bulletin provides specific requirements for peer reviews of highly influential scientific assessments and influential scientific information that are disseminated by Federal agencies, including posting the agenda and plans for such peer reviews on agency websites.

USDA has also issued Scientific Research Guidelines/Peer Review standards that USDA agencies and offices will follow in developing and reviewing scientific research information and disseminating it to the public.

ERS Agenda for Peer Reviews of Highly Influential Scientific Assessments

At this time, ERS has no agenda of forthcoming highly influential scientific assessments to post on its website in accordance with OMB's Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review.

ERS Agenda for Peer Reviews of Influential Scientific Information

ERS's economists and social scientists conduct research to inform public and private decisionmaking on economic and policy issues involving food, farming, natural resources, and rural development. The agency's research program is aimed at the information needs of USDA, other public policy officials, and the research community. ERS information and analysis is also used by the media, trade associations, public interest groups, and the general public. ERS disseminates economic information and research results through an array of outlets.

ERS has two types of report series that could contain potentially influential scientific information: ERS research reports; and Outlook Special Reports. The peer review process varies for each series. All reports in each series are included in ERS's peer review agenda for potentially influential scientific information. 

  • ERS research reports – Division management submits ERS research reports, including Economic Briefs, Economic Information Bulletins, Technical Bulletins, and Economic Research Reports, to the ERS Peer Review Council to develop the peer review plan and coordinate the peer review process.  Each report submitted to the Peer Review Council is reviewed by a minimum of two external economists/subject specialists and one economist from ERS. In addition, subject specialists from USDA agencies potentially affected by the research provide technical reviews. All reviews are double-blind (the reviewers do not know the identity of the report author(s) and the author(s) do not know the names of the reviewers). Review criteria are detailed in request letters sent to each reviewer.
  • Outlook Special Reports – Outlook Special Reports deliver time-sensitive information related to the forces shaping commodity markets and trade.  These reports provide analysis of commodity market conditions, production, supply, and use, both domestically and internationally. Outlook Special Reports are reviewed by ERS staff, external commodity and market specialists, and subject experts on the World Agricultural Outlook Board.

Cleared manuscripts are posted on the ERS website. For a complete list, see the Publications catalog.

In accordance with OMB's Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review, ERS's Peer Review Agenda for potentially influential scientific information is reported below. The agenda is updated quarterly.

ERS Peer Review Agenda for Potentially Influential Scientific Information (under review as of October 1, 2016)
Working Title Description
Daily Access to Local Foods for School Meals: Which Schools Make the Grade? Economic Information Bulletin
Food Insecurity is Associated with Health and Health Care Economic Information Bulletin
Productivity Growth and the Revival of Russian Agriculture Economic Research Report
New Farm Entrants: Financial Performance, Growth, and Farm Succession Economic Information Bulletin
Employment Multiplier Impacts of Rural Hospitals: An Econometric Study Economic Research Report
International Trade and Tropical Deforestation Economic Research Report
An Update of Census Tract Measures of Low-Income and Low Supermarket Access Economic Brief
Economic Effects of and Responses to Changing Honey Bee Health Economic Information Bulletin
China’s Dairy Supply and Demand: Implications for U.S. Exports Special Outlook Report
Review of Natural Disaster Assistance Programs for Livestock Producers Economic Information Bulletin

See completed peer reviews


For information on ERS's agenda and plans for peer reviews of highly influential scientific assessments and influential scientific information, contact:

Cynthia Nickerson
Economic Research Service
355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
Phone: (202) 694-5626

USDA Resources

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