Dartmouth Atlas reports are directed toward non-research health care stakeholders: health systems, clinician organizations, public health and health care agencies, and state and federal legislators and their staffs. As such, they are not individually externally peer reviewed, as found in research journals. However, the bases for ensuring quality and accuracy are as follows:
- The Dartmouth Atlas methodology and findings has been extensively published in peer-reviewed journal articles, which are available here: https://www.dartmouthatlas.org/research-articles/.
- Atlas reports are reviewed by the Atlas leadership group and often by non-Atlas health services researchers, including by non-Dartmouth health services researchers and policy experts.
Conflict of interest:
- Each research paper has a conflict-of-interest statement.
- The source of funding is identified in each report.
- None of the funding sources for Atlas-related research has any role in the analysis, writing, or editing of either journal papers or Atlas reports.
- The Dartmouth Atlas does not accept advertising on its website or in printed reports.
Protection of human subjects and informed consent:
- The Dartmouth Atlas project uses administrative data (health care claims) in its research, following rules set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Privacy Board to preserve patient confidentiality.
- All research studies and the Atlas project itself are approved by the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects at Dartmouth College.
Process for handling corrections, retractions, and editorial expressions of concern:
- Criticisms of Atlas methods and findings are usually answered in the peer-reviewed journals where the research was published. Data errors have been identified prior to Atlas publication, and if these involve measures already published on the Atlas web site, they are corrected with a notice on the web site. Criticisms of specific Atlas reports are rare, but are addressed through white papers posted on the Atlas web site with references to the site of publication of the criticism.