Updated Guidelines approved by SAHM Board of Directors on March 5, 2019
 

SAHM Position Papers

Position papers are the official opinions and recommendations of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM; herein referred to as “the Society”) on important issues relevant to the health and well-being of adolescents and young adults (AYA).  SAHM position papers reflect the mission and values of SAHM.  Position papers are developed for professionals by members of SAHM on behalf of the Society. SAHM position papers are published in the Journal for Adolescent Health and referenced in Index Medicus as authored by SAHM. 


The purpose of SAHM positons are to: 
  • Provide justification for an opinion or recommendation on issues relevant to the health and well-being of AYA that may be controversial, need clarification for professionals, or represent an issue deserving advocacy on behalf of AYA;
  • Inform and assist in the development of improved services for AYA;
  • Provide direction to facilitate appropriate action from members, other professionals, policy- and law-makers, and the public;
  • Make evidence-based (or expert consensus when evidence is not available) recommendations that could be used to influence policy; and
  • Express a positive and proactive call to action to promote the optimal health and well-being for all AYA.

Director of Publications

The Director of Publications provides oversight and leadership of the Publications Editorial Board (see below) in the ongoing conception, development, review and approval processes of position papers and reports directly to the President of the Society. 
 

Publications Editorial Board

SAHM`s Publications Editorial Board (PEB) is a group of SAHM members who, under the leadership of the Director of Publications, provides leadership in the development (assessment of need, quality and content) of position papers for the Society and reports its findings, through the Director of Publications, to the BOD for their review and approval.


Development Process

SAHM position papers are developed by SAHM members and after successfully completing the review process detailed below, are approved by the SAHM Board of Directors (BOD) and published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and posted on the Society’s website. 


Proposals of Position Paper 

Potential SAHM position papers (new papers and/or revisions of existing papers) may be proposed by one of the following individuals/groups:
  • SAHM member
  • SAHM Committee or Special Interest Group (SIG)
  • SAHM Publications Editorial Board  
  • SAHM Board of Directors
The SAHM BOD can also consider proposals for publication of joint statements in collaboration with other professional organizations or endorse the previously published statement of another professional organization.  Such requests would need to be sent to the SAHM Director of Publications. 

 

Intent Form for a Position Paper
The Intent Form for a Position Paper (or Intent) is the mechanism by which the BOD approves the initiation and coordination of position paper development within SAHM. The Intent identifies the topic of the position paper, the need, the methodology to be used, and the authoring group.  

The authoring group is responsible for completing and submitting the Intent to the Director of Publications. The intent document will be reviewed by the PEB. One member of the PEB will be assigned as the PEB Representative (herein referred to as “the representative”) for that Intent. The PEB will determine if the proposed position materials are complete and will recommend changes to the Intent as needed prior to Board review.  The PEB may seek consultation from others (Executive Committee or peer review) on the Intent document, as needed.  If changes are required, the assigned representative will return the Intent to the lead author. If no changes are necessary, the Director of Publications on behalf of the assigned representative and the PEB will present the Intent to the BOD for review at their next scheduled meeting.  The intent document must be approved by the BOD before a draft of the position paper is developed.

Download a Position Paper Intent Form


Timeline for Submitting Intent Documents Based on SAHM BOD schedule
Deadline to submit to ensure it can be reviewed by Board of Directors – (pending approval of the Director of Publications) 

  • 4/24/2019; for opportunity to be reviewed at 5/22/2019 Board of Directors Meeting
  • 6/21/2019; for opportunity to be reviewed at 7/19/2019 Board of Directors Meeting
  • 9/20/2019; for opportunity to be reviewed at 10/18/2019 Board of Directors Meeting
  • 12/20/2019; for opportunity to be reviewed at 1/22/2020 Board of Directors Meeting
  • 2/11/2020; for opportunity to be reviewed at 3/10/2020 Board of Directors Meeting


Authoring Group Criteria
All authors on Position Papers must be SAHM members. The lead author can request that a non-member consultant be added with Board approval. An authoring group may include a maximum of ten (10) individuals, with assurance that all have meet the authorship criteria provided below.  Requests for additional authors are to be submitted to the Director of Publications prior to the development of the intent document. The authoring group should include the diversity, interdisciplinary nature and geographic spread of the Society.

  • To be listed as a contributing author on a SAHM position paper, the author must have met the following criteria:
  • Has made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the positions; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data supporting these positions.
  • Drafted the work or made revisions critically important to the intellectual content.
  • Provided final approval prior to submission.
  • Agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Individuals or committee members who participated in the development of the paper but did not meet all of the above mentioned criteria can be acknowledged at the end of the paper as contributors.

Financial Disclosures
The authoring group of the Intent and draft position paper must disclose all conflicts of interest and affiliations with industry, government, and others. A Financial Disclosure Form must be signed by all authors prior to developing a position paper for the Society.  All authors of position papers must disclose all financial interests or relationships within the past five years and the foreseeable future that are relevant to the subject matter or content of the position paper. Disclosure Forms will be maintained by the SAHM Office.
 

Drafting of Position Papers 

Completed drafts of position papers are to be submitted to the Director of Publications for review by the PEB within six (6) months of approval of the Intent by the BOD. Otherwise, a letter of justification for the delay, a new Intent, or a request to withdraw the Intent must be submitted to the committee. If a position paper has not been submitted within six (6) months and there is no letter of justification for the delay, a new Intent, or a request to withdraw the Intent, then the Intent is considered null and void.
 

Structure of Position Papers

Position papers should be limited to 2,500 words excluding the abstract and references. 

Position papers should include most of the following elements:

Title: The title must reflect the intent/purpose of the positions clearly and concisely.

Abstract: This summary should be a concise paragraph (250 words maximum) which includes reason/purpose and summary of the overall concept(s) of the position paper.

SAHM Positions: Each position paper should list SAHM’s positions at the beginning of the paper.  New positions must be consistent (non-conflicting) with established positions, unless an explanation is provided discussing the change.  

Background Information: This section should serve as an introductory section of the position paper, where the authors provide a concise overview of the topic and why it is important. 

Method(s): This section should outline the methodology used to develop and substantiate the positions stated in the position paper (i.e. systematic review of the literature and/or expert consensus). 

Body of the Paper: The body of the paper should provide up-to-date evidence-based information or expert consensus which provides justification for each of the stated positions. This section should be organized with each position as a header followed by the evidence or expert consensus which supports the position. 

Summary: The summary should be a brief 3-5 sentence summary of the most important take home points from the position paper. The positions themselves should not be restated.

Authors: Members of the authoring group, their affiliations, and disclosures are listed at the end of each position paper.

References: The references serve as the scientific justification and should be peer–reviewed research articles, public policy documents or state-of-the-art articles or books from the literature.  There should be no more than 25 references. References should be formatted according to the current requirements of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Adolescent and young adult (AYA) and/or parent education handout, where applicable: AYA and/or parent education handouts deal with specific AYA health topics.  AYA and/or parent education handouts are to be written by health care providers who have expertise on the specific topic. AYA and/or parent education handouts should provide an overview of the condition/issue, and information on treatment options. They should be written in simple and clear language to convey the message(s). AYA and/or parent education are for educational purposes. AYA handouts will be available on SAHM website and can be printed from this website.


NOTE: Position papers are not intended to be review papers, but rather a statement of the positions with a concise presentation of background material specifically related to those positions.  Review papers should be submitted to the Journal of Adolescent Health per journal guidelines. 
 

Review Process for Position Papers 

Position papers are submitted to the Director of Publications for review by the PEB.  All position papers submitted must be of a quality similar to that of a manuscript that would be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. As such, all position papers must follow the structure outlined above and be carefully proofread for grammar, punctuation and readability or they will be returned to the authoring group. If the PEB determines that the position paper is ready, it is forwarded for peer review.  After peer review, the representative from the PEB under the supervision of the Director of Publications will return the paper to the authors for revisions, or forward the paper to the BOD, if comments are minor.  The authors are expected to respond to peer-review comments with a detailed explanation of responses and changes within four (4) weeks.  The PEB will review the revisions and decide if the revised paper is ready for submission to the BOD for review.

Timeline for submitting completed position papers:
Deadline to submit to ensure it can be reviewed by Board of Directors – (pending approval of the Director of Publications) 

  • 5/24/2019; for opportunity to be reviewed at 7/19/2019 Board of Directors Meeting
  • 8/23/2019; for opportunity to be reviewed at 10/18/2019 Board of Directors Meeting
  • 11/22/2019; for opportunity to be reviewed at 1/22/2020 Board of Directors Meeting
  • 1/14/2020; for opportunity to be reviewed at 3/10/2020 Board of Directors Meeting


Upon review, the BOD will decide to do one of the following:

  • Approve the completed paper as presented
  • Approve the completed paper with minor edits
  • Reject the completed paper  

If the completed paper is approved by the BOD, the position paper will be submitted to the Managing Editor of the Journal of Adolescent Health for publication. The authoring group will be asked to assist with drafting language to be used to announce the newly published statement to the membership/press releases. 

If the paper is approved with minor edits, the representative from PEB will return the paper to the lead author and share the BOD requested edits. The authoring group will be given two (2 months) to resubmit the revised paper to the Director of Publications with a detailed explanation of the responses and revisions. If applicable, the authoring group may submit a written explanation for consideration describing why BOD requested changes were not made. The PEB will review the revisions and determine if the BOD feedback has been adequately addressed or requires further review by the BOD.  If the PEB feels that the revisions were adequately addressed, they will submit the paper to the Journal of Adolescent Health for publication.


Publication of SAHM Position Papers

Position papers will be published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and posted on the SAHM website.

The review process for position papers may need to be expedited if there are recommendations of an urgent nature that have a significant and direct impact on the practice of adolescent and young adult health.  The Director of Publications will work directly with the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Adolescent Health to coordinate and expedite the publication process so that the information is disseminated to the membership and readership in a timely fashion.

Because of copyright and reprint concerns, position papers will not be published in other organizations’ journals before publication in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Exceptions are made if it is previously determined that a joint position paper will be published simultaneously in the Journal of Adolescent Health and the official journal of the co-authoring entity.
 

Duration of SAHM Position Papers

SAHM position papers undergo review five years after initial publication or more often as needed. This review will be initiated by the Director of Publications (as result of 5-year timeline or at the request of the BOD, Special Interest Group or SAHM Committee). The review will be conducted by one of the following groups: the authoring group (see Development Process), other appropriate committee, or by the Executive Committee (EC) – at the request of the Director of Publications or BOD.  This review will recommend if the position should be reaffirmed, retired or revised. The recommendations from the review will be reported to the Director of Publications who will report to the BOD.
 

Revision Process

All leading authors and their respective authoring groups will be expected to conduct a review of their position paper when older than five years from initial publication. In addition, the PEB or the BOD may request a review of a position paper prior to the mandatory review period if there has been significant/important changes to the content of the current position paper under consideration.

If the BOD recommends revising the position paper, then the Director of Publications will contact the most recent lead author.  The lead author will contact their authoring group and notify them of the BOD’s request to revise. If the lead author can no longer take on this responsibility, they will recommend a SAHM member who can.  The PEB will review this recommendation with the BOD.  If the lead author is approved by the BOD, the Director of Publications will ask this member if they would take on the role and responsibility of the lead author in the revision of the position paper.  If the lead author agrees, the individual will confirm that the most recent authoring group is interested in participating in the revision.  If this is not the case, the lead author can identify other group members.  The authoring group will have 12 months to submit the revised position paper to the PEB. 

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