Data Quality Petition Challenges CDC Weblink
by Guest Blogger, 12/3/2003
A contractor with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) submitted a data quality petition to the CDC Jan. 8 challenging a web link CDC provides on its website The challenged link appears on the CDC Health Topics A to Z webpage and directs users to a Division of AIDS, STD, and TB Laboratory Research (DASTLR) page on gonorrhea. CDC established DASTLR as a part of its National Center for Infectious Disease in 1995 to centralize CDC's laboratory studies on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), other retroviruses, other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), hematologic disorders, and mycobacteria. The division includes a branch dedicated to studying bacterial STDs, of which gonorrhea is one of the most prevalent. The petitioner argues that the Health Topic weblink should direct users to a Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP) fact sheet on gonorrhea, which the petitioner believes is more useful than the DASTLR webpage. Furthermore, the individual asserts that all other sexually transmitted diseases link to STD Prevention fact sheets and the gonorrhea link should be consistent. In CDC’s March 3 response, the Center partially accepted the petition’s recommendation and added a Health Topics link titled “Gonorrhea (Info)” that connects to the DSTDP fact sheet. However, the agency also retained the link to the DASTLR webpage titled “Gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae).” The petitioner filed an appeal March 28 asserting that the “Gonorrhea (Info)” link did not link to the DSTDP website and the second link of “Gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae)” should be eliminated to avoid confusion. In CDC’s April 28 response the Center acknowledged the flawed website link, reported that it had been fixed and changed to simply “Gonorrhea.” CDC denied the petitioner’s appeal request to eliminate the “Gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae)” link.