Call to Action Statements
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Call to Action Statements

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Read ACSM's first Call to Action Statement here published in Current Sports Medicine Reports:

COVID-19: Considerations for Sports and Physical Activity

About Call to Action Statements

Definition:

An ACSM Call to Action Statement is an official pronouncement that directs attention to a current scientific/clinical challenge or need and highlights a series of actions that can be taken to address the identified challenge. The intent of this document is to provide a mechanism by which the college can make a concise, clear comment and provide action-oriented direction in a timely and efficient manner on evolving topics of high importance or with broad impact.

Purpose:

A Call to Action Statement provides a mechanism by which the college can comment quickly on topics where reader engagement is necessary. It reflects ACSM’s desire to highlight a current problem/situation and to provide an action-oriented set of recommendations or directives. The Call to Action paper is designed to provide:

  1. A brief statement of the “problem” or “current situation” and the affected population and impact
  2. A short summary of the science
  3. Challenges or unknowns
  4. A “call to action” to address the challenges/unknowns

How Topic is Identified:

Topics for Call to Action Statements may be submitted by the ACSM Executive Committee (ACSM President, Immediate Past President, President-Elect), ACSM Communications Staff and/or the ACSM Consumer and Public Information (CPI) Committee. Topics also may be solicited from ACSM committees, interest groups, SHIs, regional chapters, fellows and the general membership once a year via formal email, a member survey or request for ideas via Sports Medicine Bulletin. Topics that were highly represented in annual meeting abstract submissions and topics that are suggested by other organizations to be developed as “joint statements” will also be considered. Finally, Call to Action papers may also address topics that are highly publicized, spark discussion in the media and that warrant a response from ACSM. Approval of topics for these papers will be achieved via review and discussion by the Pronouncements Committee. Topics approved by the Pronouncements Committee will be submitted to the Administrative Council/Board of Trustees for review, discussion and approval prior to work beginning. The ACSM Board of Trustees has ultimate approval of topics.

Protocol for Paper Development:

ACSM Call to Action Statements are developed according to a protocol developed by the Pronouncements Committee and approved by the ACSM Administrative Council/Board of Trustees. This document is designed to be brief (not to exceed 1,000 words); presents a statement of the problem, a brief summary of the science and the challenges; and includes a call to action. This paper will not be based on a systematic review of the literature or grading of evidence. Thus, it will be a combination of research evidence and expert opinion, relying heavily on the authors’ content expertise. Additional specifics regarding writing group composition, etc. can be found in the Pronouncements Committee protocol. The goal is for the paper to take no longer than three months from approval to publication.

Review and Approvals:

Each paper is first reviewed internally by the Pronouncements Committee. Authors are expected to address the committees’ comments and revise the document as appropriate. Next, the paper enters an expedited peer-review process by the publishing journal. Again, authors will address reviewer’s comments and revise the document as appropriate in a short timeframe (within one week). Once approved by journal reviewers and accepted for publication by the publishing journal, the paper is forwarded to the ACSM Administrative Council/Board of Trustees for review and final decision regarding approval and dissemination. The ACSM Board of Trustees has the final decision regarding approval of the statement.

Normally published/communicated:

Call to Action Statements do not reach the authoritative or influential level of a Position Stand. As such, this document is published in an ACSM journal but, not necessarily Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®. On a case-by-case basis, the appropriate journal for publication is determined by ACSM journals editors-in-chief. In addition, Call to Action Statements are promoted and disseminated via additional channels such as Sports Medicine Bulletin, social media, acsm.org, etc.