APA and a coalition of scientific and public health organizations are asking psychologists and other health-care professionals to electronically sign an online petition urging Congress to uphold the peer-review process.
The petition is sponsored by the Coalition to Protect Research (CPR), which APA co-founded with the Consortium of Social Science Associations. The coalition was founded in December in response to political maneuvering last year that questioned the peer-review process, including a failed amendment that would have de-funded five National Institutes of Health (NIH) peer-reviewed studies of sexual health. (See page 78 for more information.)
The petition argues that research should be judged on its scientific merit, not ideology, and that the peer-review process is the best way to determine whether a study should receive federal funding. In its first two days online, more than 1,000 psychologists, physicians, nurses, social workers and students signed the appeal. But more support is needed, says CPR co-chair Karen Studwell, JD, of APA's Public Policy Office.
To persuade lawmakers to support peer review in the future, she explains, the coalition needs to show legislators that many people in their home districts support NIH's peer review process. By signing the petition, she explains, researchers and practitioners alike can show their senators and representatives just that.
--D. SMITH BAILEY