(Formerly known as AED - Asynchronous Electronic Discussion)
IAM is a peer review platform which uses the Internet as a means for reviewers to meet and discuss the grant applications they are assigned to review. IAM uses a threaded message board with features tailored to NIH review and allow the discussion and private scoring of grant applications without the need for concurrent assembly or teleconference. It expands the potential reviewer base, enabling the participation of reviewers who do not wish to travel and/or live in far-away places and provides greater flexibility for scheduling and running peer review meetings. In addition, reviewers from different time-zones can easily participate without the time constraints imposed by teleconferences.
CSR started developing IAM in 2005. In late 2006, IAM began operating as a major CSR initiative (2007/01 Council). As of December 2010, IAM has been used almost 750 peer review meetings. Over 10, 000 applications were reviewed in these meetings which involved the participation of nearly 10,000 reviewers.
CSR has been continuously evaluating the effectiveness and user acceptability of IAM by soliciting user suggestions and by conducting structured surveys of the user community involving reviewers, scientific review officers, and program officials. A report containing the results of the most recent survey conducted by CSR is available online (http://cms.csr.nih.gov/AboutCSR/ReportStorage/EvaluationReports/AEDReport09.htm). Through the interaction with the user community, technological and procedural modifications have been constantly implemented to enhance the electronic environment, its communication capabilities, and the information displayed. IAM is currently operating at version 4.1 (January, 2010 release). Version 4.1 mainly improved user authentication, and enhanced the processing speed and the handling capacity of the electronic environment.