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Guidance on the use of the weight of evidence approach in scientific assessments.

Hardy, Anthony and Benford, Diane and Halldorsson, Thorhallur and Jeger, Michael John and Knutsen, Helle Katrine and More, Simon and Naegeli, Hanspeter and Noteborn, Hubert and Ockleford, Colin and Ricci, Antonia and Rychen, Guido and Schlatter, Josef R and Silano, Vittorio and Solecki, Roland and Turck, Dominique and Benfenati, Emilio and Chaudhry, Qasim Mohammad and Craig, Peter and Frampton, Geoff and Greiner, Matthias and Hart, Andrew and Hogstrand, Christer and Lambre, Claude and Luttik, Robert and Makowski, David and Siani, Alfonso and Wahlstroem, Helene and Aguilera, Jaime and Dorne, Jean‐Lou and Fernandez Dumont, Antonio and Hempen, Michaela and Valtueña Martínez, Silvia and Martino, Laura and Smeraldi, Camilla and Terron, Andrea and Georgiadis, Nikolaos and Younes, Maged (2017) 'Guidance on the use of the weight of evidence approach in scientific assessments.', EFSA journal., 15 (8). e04971.


EFSA requested the Scientific Committee to develop a guidance document on the use of the weight of evidence approach in scientific assessments for use in all areas under EFSA's remit. The guidance document addresses the use of weight of evidence approaches in scientific assessments using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Several case studies covering the various areas under EFSA's remit are annexed to the guidance document to illustrate the applicability of the proposed approach. Weight of evidence assessment is defined in this guidance as a process in which evidence is integrated to determine the relative support for possible answers to a question. This document considers the weight of evidence assessment as comprising three basic steps: (1) assembling the evidence into lines of evidence of similar type, (2) weighing the evidence, (3) integrating the evidence. The present document identifies reliability, relevance and consistency as three basic considerations for weighing evidence.

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Publisher statement:© 2017 European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of European Food Safety Authority. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Date accepted:12 July 2017
Date deposited:20 November 2017
Date of first online publication:03 August 2017
Date first made open access:20 November 2017

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