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February 15, 1995

Are the Peers Peers?

Author Affiliations

Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program University of California Office of the President Oakland

JAMA. 1995;273(7):522. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520310014012

To the Editor.  —Drs Glantz and Bero1 concluded that the members of the California Behavioral and Public Health Research on Tobacco Study Section (hereinafter "reviewers") who evaluated Glantz's grant application to the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) were not his "peers" in tobacco policy research because a MEDLINE search indexed on the keyword "tobacco" revealed that they had fewer publications than he did.To assess the appropriateness of reviewers to evaluate tobacco policy research, it is preferable to use the keywords "tobacco policy." We did this MEDLINE search and found that Glantz had one citation, while four reviewers had a total of five. Tobacco policy research was a nascent field in the early 1990s, so the small number of articles is not surprising.These literature searches extended 1 year beyond the date when reviewers were selected for Glantz's proposal; it is more appropriate to limit searches to the period

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