Note from the Editor

      In this issue of the Journal, we present an interesting paper by Chiuve and colleagues on whether higher diet quality, as measured by a novel index of nutritional quality—the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI)—is associated with reduced risk of chronic disease. The findings speak for themselves but raise an issue about which reasonable people may differ. The algorithm underlying the ONQI is proprietary and not open to inspection by users, be they scientists, policymakers, or practitioners. Should proprietary algorithms like this be accepted at face value or should they be subject to open examination by those who use them? Will subjecting them to scrutiny stifle the entrepreneurial efforts of their developers in ways that will compromise innovation? If algorithms like this become more common, should they be subject to new methods of validation before they are accepted for dissemination?
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