Privacy Policy

What data we collect

User accounts are created in our ScholarOne database for individuals when 1) they are a co-author of an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) evidence report or 2) they have been suggested as a potential reviewer for an AHRQ evidence report, usually by a primary author of a report. As soon as an account is created, a notification is sent to the email address associated with that account.

Your account may contain or be associated with the following types of information.

  1.  Personal identifying information: When authors, editors, or others suggest you as a potential reviewer or create an account for you as a co-author, they provide information that may be used to identify you, such as your first and last name, any academic degrees, an email address, your institution and the position you hold at the institution, your address at the institution, and your webpage on the institution's website.

  2.  Expertise keywords: We may also search public websites for publicly available information about your expertise so that we can assign keywords describing your expertise in order to match you to future reports that you may also be qualified to review.

  3.  Sign-in information: Your password (which is encrypted and not visible in the database) and your username are also part of your user account. To protect your privacy and to preserve your control over your account, we encourage you to use a strong password and to avoid sharing it with anyone else.

  4.  Forms you complete: We store the forms that you have filled out in our ScholarOne Manuscripts site, including Conflict of Interest forms, review forms, and authorship forms.

  5.  Communications: We have a record of all emails sent through our ScholarOne site to you or from you.

Modifying or removing your account

You can view and modify your personal identifying information, your expertise keywords, and your sign-in information in our database at any time by logging into your account on the AHRQ Evidence-based Practice Center Program ScholarOne site at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ehc and clicking on your name in the top right corner. You are notified by email whenever someone modifies your account.

If you wish to remove your account from our database, log in at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ehc . Click on your name in the top right corner and then click on User ID & Password. At the bottom of that page, click on "No, remove my account." Once you confirm that you would like to remove your account, you will be automatically logged out with a message that your account has been removed. If you can't click on the account removal link or if you experience any other difficulties, contact the editorial office at review@epc-src.org for assistance.

Once your account is removed, authors and editors will no longer be able to add you as a co-author or invite you to review. It will not be possible to create a new account for you using the same email address. Any forms that you have completed previously (including Conflict of Interest forms, review forms, and authorship forms) will remain in our system with your name attached. Email correspondence that has been sent to you will remain in our system with your name and email address attached. If you complete a review and then remove your account within the same calendar year, we may not be able to email you the annual letter of appreciation for reviewers.

How we use and share your data

We use your data only for the purpose of coordinating peer review and maintaining scientific integrity for AHRQ research products. Uses include inviting you to review a report, asking you to update your expertise keywords so that we can better match you to reports, and sending you decision letters about reports you have authored. We do not use your data for marketing purposes.

If you author a report, your name, institution, and submission files will be shared with the report's assigned reviewers. Your first and last name and institution will be published on AHRQ's website alongside the accepted final report and disposition of comments.

If you agree to review a report and fill out a Conflict of Interest form, your name is shared with the report's authors, but your Conflict of Interest form is kept confidential by AHRQ and its contractors. If you review a report, your review (except for anything you enter into the Confidential Comments for the Editor box) is shared with the report's authors with your name attached. Under select circumstances, we may share your review with a journal to expedite the journal review of an associated manuscript. Your anonymized review will be included in the disposition of comments, which is publicly posted on the AHRQ website once the final report is published, and your name and affiliation will be published alongside the names and affiliations of the other reviewers in the final report. Your name, disconnected from the report(s) you reviewed, will be shared in the annual letter of appreciation for reviewers, which is posted publicly on the AHRQ website.

If, for any reason not already covered by this policy, we would like to share your review with an outside party before it has been published, we will contact you to request explicit permission. If you decline or do not respond to the request, we will not share your review in advance of its publication in the disposition of comments.

Whether or not you author or review a report, your information is available in our database to AHRQ staff and to the AHRQ contractor responsible for coordinating peer review. We may share aggregated, anonymized data with other parties, but only in such a way that your identity is protected.

We may disclose your information if we determine that we are required by statute to do so. To protect the privacy interests of our users, we will provide only such information as we deem necessary. To the extent possible, we will notify you if we release your information pursuant to a statutory requirement.

Changes to this policy and concerns

We may change this policy from time to time and we encourage you to refer back to it on a regular basis. A link to the current policy is always available in your ScholarOne account. To access it, log in at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ehc. Click on your name in the top right corner and then click on User ID & Password. At the bottom of that page, click on AHRQ EPC ScholarOne database privacy policy.

If you have any concerns about how we use your personal information in ScholarOne Manuscripts, please contact our editorial office at review@epc-src.org.

(Updated July 18, 2018)

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