Legislation is pending in the House of Representatives that would require the public release of sensitive information regarding peer review of federal grants.
As it is currently drafted, the Grant Reform and New Transparency (GRANT) Act, HR 3433, would require that the government publish online grant proposals funded by federal agencies. Unlike the current government practice of releasing abstracts, this new requirement would include potentially propriety intellectual information related to the applicant’s hypotheses, novel methodology, and preliminary research findings.
Moreover, the GRANT Act would require the public disclosure of the names of the peer reviewers for each federally funded grant. Removing the anonymity of peer review would open the process to real or perceived fear of repercussions for reviewers, and could result in self-censoring by reviewers.
Please stand up for the integrity of the scientific process by asking your Representative to voice his/her disapproval of these provisions in the GRANT Act by signing a Dear Colleague letter being circulated by Representatives Rush Holt (D-NJ) and David Price (D-NC). The Holt-Price letter urges Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi to remove these provisions from the GRANT Act before it is further considered in the House.
Write to your Representative today! The deadline for members of Congress to sign the letter is Friday, 13 January 2012.
Take action at http://capwiz.com/aibs/issues/alert/?alertid=59657501.