Sunday, April 1, 2012


date: Fri, 9 Jul 1999 17:42:09 -0400
from: (Neil Leary)
subject: Non-peer reviewed sources

Dear Authors,

This note is to provide you with guidance on the use of sources in IPCC
reports that have not been published in a peer reviewed journal, or other
format that has been peer reviewed.

Use of such materials is permitted, but there are some requirements that
must be complied with if you do. These requirements are part of the IPCC's
approved procedures. Examples of non-peer reviewed materials that might be
used include in-press or submitted journal articles; articles published in
industry or trade journals; proceedings of workshops; reports and working
papers of research institutions, private firms, government agencies, and
non-government organizations; contractor reports prepared for government
agencies, firms, industry groups , and other non-governmental
organizations; and books that have not been peer reviewed.

If you use these types of sources, here is what you need to do.

1. Critically assess the quality and validity of the informtion you intend
to include in your chapter. Don't just cite results from non-peer reviewed
sources without assessing their quality and validity. (actually, you should
be doing this for peer reviewed sources as well - our job is to assess the
state of knowledge, not just report what's in the literature). Basically,
your expertise substitutes for the peer review process for material that
has not been peer reviewed.

2. Send to the TSU with the 1st-order draft a list of all non-peer
reviewed sources cited in your chapter. (This should be coordinated by one
of the CLAs.) Include the following information for each:

All the usual bibliographic information: author(s), title, date, report #,
name of publication appears in if applicable, publisher if any, etc.

Information on how to obtain a copy: contact name, address, email, phone etc.

Information on the availability to the public of data used by the source,
plus information on how to obtain the data if it is available.

An abstract of the source in English if the source is in a language other
than English.

3. Send to the TSU a copy of the source if it is not readily available to
the public. We need these by August 16, the day the 1st order drafts are
due. If you can send an electronic copy, that would be preferable.

What is readily available to the public requires some judgment on your
part. A government report, for which you provide full information about
how to order a copy, need not be sent to the TSU. Same is true for a
publication of a major NGO. A publication that is available in major
library holdings need not be sent. But, contractor reports and reports of
private firms that may not be available on request should be sent.
Unpublished working papers should be sent. When in doubt, send us a copy.

The reason for #3 is that the IPCC is required to make available to
reviewers on request any cited source that is not peer reviewed. We are
also required to maintain these materials after the report is published.

4. In the references section of your chapter, these sources must be
identified as "not peer reviewed."

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.



Neil A. Leary, Ph.D.
Head, Technical Support Unit
IPCC Working Group II
400 Virginia Avenue SW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20024 USA
General number: 1 202 314-2225
Direct number: 1 202 314-2224
Fax: 1 202 488-8678
email: or

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