How do you make sure that your scientific/assigned reviewers are really reviewing their assigned protocols? Do you ask that your assigned reviewers answer questions or think about certain regulations for compliance review during their efforts? Candy and chocolates do not guarantee a consistently good job! A handy way to make reviewers justify their reviews is to require them to a Reviewer Guide, which can be a helpful tool to guide reviewers through the review process. Most guides contain sections for general impressions, protected populations (human studies), species (animal studies), biohazardous agents (human/animal/safety studies), samples, justifications, performance sites, risks, and qualifications, to name a few.
After being set up on the Submissions screen on a per-submission basis, the Reviewer Guide becomes mandatory for all reviewers. Upon receiving an action item, each reviewer will need to download a copy of the attached Word document, complete it, and then upload the document to the action item. Only then will the action item be able to be completed and sent back to the committee. The committee can then review this guide to determine action for the Review. Future functionality for this useful tool could be to make it eForm based, whereby reviewer’s comments could be tracked and summarized for committee use.