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December 17, 1997

Prepublication of NIH Consensus Conferences on the Internet

Author Affiliations

National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Md

JAMA. 1997;278(23):2063-2064. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550230039024

To the Editor.  —The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Development Program, begun in 1977 and managed by the NIH Office of Medical Applications of Research (OMAR), is a unique technology assessment process in American medicine and is designed to produce a consensus statement at the end of a 3-day consensus conference. An NIH Consensus Statement is a thoughtful and thorough data-driven synthesis of the current science based on a comprehensive review of the existing peer-reviewed medical literature, a series of state-of-the-art presentations, and public testimony. Thus, it has been our long-standing opinion that NIH Consensus Statements do not fall into the category of traditional scientific articles reporting original research that require peer review. Nonetheless, each NIH Consensus Statement is subjected to peer review by the experts in the field who review the document at the time of its public release. Nearly half of the 106 NIH Consensus Statements produced