SciPi™ FAQs

What is a SciPi?
SciPi is short for Scientific oPinion.  A SciPi is a request for scientists to weigh in with their opinion on an important topic.  As of late 2014, the SciPis are just getting started.  Because SciPis represent collective scientific judgment, SciPinion may seek sponsorship of specific SciPis in the future.
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How does this work?
SciPinion will create SciPis as a means for scientists to provide input regarding specific scientific issues. The opportunity to provide an opinion in a particular SciPi may be provided to all SciPinion registrants. For Some SciPis, this opportunity will be provided to a selection of SciPinion registrants and an Access Code will be supplied. As a SciPinion registrant, you may receive an invitation based on your expertise or your attendance at a conference session. Generally, survey results will not be made available to a SciPinion registrant until after the survey is complete. Survey results will be updated automatically.
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How can I participate?
There are many ways to participate.  You can:
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Do I need to be a scientist?
No.  SciPi participation is open to everyone.  It is sometimes useful to understand and compare the opinions of scientists and nonscientist on a topic.
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Why do I need an account?
At SciPinion, we want to know not only what scientists think but also why.  Consequently, we also want to know something about you and your expertise.  This way we can relate your opinions to the information about your expertise. Therefore, we want you to create a user account.  
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Will my private information ever be released?
No. Your privacy is important. The objective of SciPinion is to create a forum for scientists to provide their professional opinion anonymously. The demographic information in your profile may be used to compare results between different groups of scientists. However no personal information (e.g., name, email) will be made available or linked specifically to your opinions. For more information please review our privacy policy.  
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Why are results not always published?
Some SciPis may not be published or made publicly available because SciPinion or the sponsor feels that the information is sensitive and should not be made publicly available.    
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Website Scope
SciPinion was started with a particular focus within the public health, toxicology and risk assessment fields.  However, we have plans to expand into other science fields.  If you have interest in serving as an editor for another field of science or know of someone to recommend, please contact us.  Check back for updates.
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Peer Review
How are peer reviewers selected for participation?
Potential peer reviewers are identified from a variety of sources by SciPinion, and are invited to participate via email. Of those who express interest in participating, panel members will be selected by SciPinion using a proprietary rating system that considers their expertise, experience, and may in some cases their fee for participation.
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What is the peer review process?

An overview of the peer review process is depicted in Figure 1. To fulfill your responsibilities as a Peer Reviewer, your will be expected to:

  • review the data package (this may a manuscript, data summary, and/or raw data), which you will be given access to online;
  • provide your Scientific oPinions or “SciPi” by answering questions pertaining to the data package using our online system;
  • in some cases (e.g., multi-round, Delphi reviews) you will be required to review the results from the group of reviewers and participate in an online, anonymous debate, followed by subsequent round(s) of questions.

All questions have undergone review by an independent 3rd party editor to minimize potential bias. In addition, the peer review panel composition is audited by an independent 3rd party auditor. For this reason, some panel members may be contacted by the auditor to verify their identity. SciPinion will generate a report containing the methods and results of the review process, which will be used by the Sponsor to support decision-making. To minimize bias, in some cases, the Sponsor’s identity may be withheld from the peer reviewers.


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Will I need to travel to participate?

No. All interactions for the peer review process will be conducted on-line. To participate you will need an internet-capable device.

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Why are reviewers kept anonymous?

For SciPinion reviews, the participants are to remain independent and anonymous. This is done purposefully to avoid common pitfalls associated with face-to-face peer reviews (e.g., groupthink, minimize influence of individual bias on the group). In this way, reviewers are encouraged to focus on data/science issue at hand.

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Will I be paid for participating?

For some peer reviews, reviewers will receive compensation for their time. The amount of compensation will vary from opportunity to opportunity, taking into consideration the amount of material needing to be reviewed, and will be established prior to starting the review. For individuals who cannot accept pay from outside sources, we offer, in lieu of pay, to make a donation to the science-based non-profit organization of your choosing.  

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How will I receive payment?

All payments from SciPinion to experts located in the US are made using Deluxe Echecks.  For experts located outside the US, we offer payment via a mailed check, PayPal or wire transfers (the latter two will incur a fee).

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When will I receive payment?

Your prompt payment for your efforts is important to us. Payment will be disbursed to you shortly after completion of the peer reviewer responsibilities (e.g., submission of your SciPi).

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Will I receive a 1099-K from SciPinion?

SciPinion issues a 1099-K form to all of its paid participants. For this reason, we require that participants provide a W9 form (U.S.) or W8BEN form (non-U.S.) prior to participation.