August 20, 2014 Articles

Peer Review and Beyond—A Deep Dive into the Data

By Cynthia D. Driscoll, Thomas S. Jones, and Charles H. Moellenberg Jr.

Because science takes center stage in legal disputes of all types, developing the tools to analyze scientific studies critically is essential. Although analysis of the published literature is often sufficient, sometimes a deeper dive into the data underlying the published results is warranted, particularly where results are controversial or contradictory. However, gaining access to the data can be challenging. One approach to consider is a rarely used provision of federal contracting law, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110. 2 C.F.R. pt. 215. It allows public access to data underlying published research findings that the federal government used to arrive at an agency action that has the force and effect of law even if the data are not in the possession of the government.

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