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 Peer Review Implementation Guidelines 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 Special Outlook 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 Coordinating Council to develop the peer review plan and coordinate the peer review process.  Each report submitted to the Peer Review Coordinating Council is reviewed by a minimum of two external subject matter experts and one subject matter expert from ERS. In addition, subject matter experts 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.
  • Special Outlook Reports – Special Outlook Reports provide 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. Special Outlook Reports are reviewed by ERS staff, external commodity and market specialists, and subject matter 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 September 30, 2022)
Working Title Description
Potential Economic Outcomes of Integrating Livestock and Cover Crop Systems Economic Information Bulletin (MS-761)
Characteristics and Trends of U.S. Soybean Production Practices, Costs, and Returns Economic Research Report (MS-766)
An Overview of Farms Operated by Socially Disadvantaged, Women, and Limited Resource Farmers and Ranchers in the United States Economic Information Bulletin (MS-768)
How Mexico’s Horticultural Export Sector Responded to the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Economic Research Report (MS-769)
Farmland Tenancy and Conservation Practice Adoption Economic Information Bulletin (MS-771)
China’s Meat Consumption: Growth Potential Economic Research Report (MS-775)
Concentration and Competition in U.S. Agribusiness Economic Information Bulletin (MS-776)
U.S. Strawberry and Blueberry Report, 2000 to 2020 Economic Information Bulletin (MS-777)
Impact of Recent Free Trade Agreements and and USJTA Safeguard Renegotiation on Japan’s Market for Bovine Products Economic Information Bulletin (MS-778)
Changes in U.S. Agricultural Imports From Latin America and the Caribbean Special Outlook Report (MS-780)
Comparing Food Insecurity Among the U.S. Military and Civilian Populations Economic Research Report (MS-781)
Incidence of Three USDA Rural Broadband Programs Economic Information Bulletin (MS-782)
Structure of the Cow-Calf Segment of the U.S. Beef Industry Economic Research Report (MS-783)

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:

Kelly Maguire
Economic Research Service
355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
Phone: (202) 694-5448

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