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      Guidance on Uncertainty Analysis in Scientific Assessments

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          Abstract

          Uncertainty analysis is the process of identifying limitations in scientific knowledge and evaluating their implications for scientific conclusions. It is therefore relevant in all EFSA's scientific assessments and also necessary, to ensure that the assessment conclusions provide reliable information for decision‐making. The form and extent of uncertainty analysis, and how the conclusions should be reported, vary widely depending on the nature and context of each assessment and the degree of uncertainty that is present. This document provides concise guidance on how to identify which options for uncertainty analysis are appropriate in each assessment, and how to apply them. It is accompanied by a separate, supporting opinion that explains the key concepts and principles behind this Guidance, and describes the methods in more detail.

          Abstract

          This publication is linked to the following EFSA Journal article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5122/full

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          Most cited references7

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          Guidance of the Scientific Committee on Transparency in the Scientific Aspects of Risk Assessments carried out by EFSA. Part 2: General Principles

          (2009)
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            Opinion of the Scientific Committee related to Uncertainties in Dietary Exposure Assessment

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              The principles and methods behind EFSA 's Guidance on Uncertainty Analysis in Scientific Assessment

              Abstract To meet the general requirement for transparency in EFSA's work, all its scientific assessments must consider uncertainty. Assessments must say clearly and unambiguously what sources of uncertainty have been identified and what is their impact on the assessment conclusion. This applies to all EFSA's areas, all types of scientific assessment and all types of uncertainty affecting assessment. This current Opinion describes the principles and methods supporting a concise Guidance Document on Uncertainty in EFSA's Scientific Assessment, published separately. These documents do not prescribe specific methods for uncertainty analysis but rather provide a flexible framework within which different methods may be selected, according to the needs of each assessment. Assessors should systematically identify sources of uncertainty, checking each part of their assessment to minimise the risk of overlooking important uncertainties. Uncertainty may be expressed qualitatively or quantitatively. It is neither necessary nor possible to quantify separately every source of uncertainty affecting an assessment. However, assessors should express in quantitative terms the combined effect of as many as possible of identified sources of uncertainty. The guidance describes practical approaches. Uncertainty analysis should be conducted in a flexible, iterative manner, starting at a level appropriate to the assessment and refining the analysis as far as is needed or possible within the time available. The methods and results of the uncertainty analysis should be reported fully and transparently. Every EFSA Panel and Unit applied the draft Guidance to at least one assessment in their work area during a trial period of one year. Experience gained in this period resulted in improved guidance. The Scientific Committee considers that uncertainty analysis will be unconditional for EFSA Panels and staff and must be embedded into scientific assessment in all areas of EFSA's work.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                EFSA J
                EFSA J
                10.1002/(ISSN)1831-4732
                EFS2
                EFSA Journal
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                1831-4732
                24 January 2018
                January 2018
                : 16
                : 1 ( doiID: 10.1002/efs2.2018.16.issue-1 )
                : e05123
                Author notes
                Article
                EFS25123
                10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5123
                7009727
                32625671
                3da55dbd-b071-4240-b86a-1caf3e26bb3b
                © 2018 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 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/ License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and no modifications or adaptations are made.

                History
                Page count
                Figures: 18, Tables: 2, Pages: 39, Words: 16661
                Categories
                Guidance Document
                Guidance Document
                Custom metadata
                2.0
                January 2018
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.7.5 mode:remove_FC converted:21.01.2020

                uncertainty analysis,scientific assessment,guidance
                uncertainty analysis, scientific assessment, guidance

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