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Departmental Research

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedures there are for independent peer review of research undertaken by her Department before its publication. (255321)

All social research that is published by the Home Office is subject to an independent peer review process. Once the research is complete, our usual practice is to send the research report to be peer reviewed by two external experts. We choose peer reviewers for their knowledge of the subject and their expertise in the methodology used for the research. In a small number of cases, the Department instead gives permission for the research to be published by external contractors who completed the work. These cases are externally peer reviewed wherever possible.

Copies of our peer review proformas are available on the Home Office website at:

Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) publications are subject to a peer review process appropriate to the nature of the publication before being made publicly available on our website, or where protectively marked before being delivered to our customers.

The review process is tailored to the publication type and can include review by internal peers, review by qualified colleagues in other Government Departments, review by academic partners or where HOSDB do publish purely scientific results in peer reviewed international journals. HOSDB scientists and engineers also present results at academic conferences where this is appropriate in order to ensure that scrutiny of our science is as robust as possible.