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Study Section Conformity Index (SSCI) using the QVR LIKE Function. S. Garte CSR. The Issue. H ow well do study section members react to non conforming science outside the standard concepts and approaches in their fields?

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the issue
The Issue
  • How well do study section members react to non conforming science outside the standard concepts and approaches in their fields?
  • The question of conformity vs. innovation in NIH peer review has been raised in the scientific and popular press.
methodological approach
Methodological Approach
  • Compute a QVR fingerprint in for all applications submitted to each study section from 2007 to 2011. (146 SRGs)
  • Using QVR LIKE function, determine the Match Score (MS) for each application.
  • Applications with higher match scores are more conforming to the standard applications
analytical methods
Analytical Methods

TWO INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENTS

1. Compare average match score for all awarded grants to all non awarded applications

(t test)

2. Percentage of applications awarded in the top match score quartile compared to the lowest quartile.

(Chi square)

slide7

PERCENT OF STUDY SECTIONS WITH POSITIVE CONFORMITY INDEX (SSCI)

# SRGs (AVMS) (Quart.) (Both) (Either)

CSR 145 11 9.0 7.6 12.4

DABP 32 9.4 6.25 6.25 9.4

DBIB 3525.717.114.328.6

DNDA 23 8.7 8.7 8.7 8.7

DPPS 28 3.6 7.1 3.6 7.1

DTCS 27 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.7

summary and conclusions
Summary and Conclusions
  • The great majority (90%) of CSR Study Sections do not penalize applications that do not conform
  • The basic science SRGs tend to be more conformist than translational or clinical SRGs
  • There is a correlation between conformity and bibliometric measure of quality.