Expert Consensus Statements
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Expert Consensus Statements

About Expert Consensus Statements

Definition:

ACSM Expert Consensus Statements are developed using a blend of research evidence and consensus of expert opinion. The document provides a mechanism by which the College can make an official comment in a timely and efficient manner on topics of high importance or with broad impact. The goal is for the document to present a well-rounded summary of the topic under consideration.

Purpose:

To produce an evidence-informed expert consensus statement to serve as an official pronouncement on topics in sports medicine and exercise science. The intent is to develop a mechanism by which the College can make an official comment in a timely and efficient manner on topics of high importance or with broad impact. The goal is for the document to be a blend of expert opinion and research evidence and to present a well-rounded summary. The consensus statement may be developed via remote writing groups or as the result of an in-person meeting. As an official pronouncement of the College, this statement reflects the College’s position on the scientific/clinical issue. 

How Topic is Identified:

Topics for these papers will be identified in a variety of ways and may include:
A. Submitted by the Pronouncements Committee (PC) as a mechanism to update older Position Stands.
B. Solicited from ACSM 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. The Pronouncements Committee will maintain a list of topics and will review and re-prioritize yearly.
C. Topics that were highly represented in annual meeting abstract submissions.
D. Topics that are suggested by other organizations to be developed as “joint statements.”

Approval of topics for these papers will be achieved via review and discussion by the PC. Topics approved by the PC will be submitted to the Administrative Council/Board of Trustees for review, discussion, and approval prior to work beginning.

Protocol for Paper Development:

ACSM Expert Consensus Statements will not exceed 5000 words. The format to be used will be: Scientific/clinical question, brief synopsis of literature, expert interpretation of literature and key future directions or references. 

Three to five experts will be identified by the PC and chosen to write the paper. Authors will be content experts with an advanced degree pertaining to the subject and have published on the given topic in a peer-reviewed journal in the past three to five years. Ideally, at least one of the authors will be mid-career.

Review and Approvals:

ACSM Expert Consensus Statements will be submitted for review to the PC within 8-12 weeks of assigning the topic and authors’ acceptance. American College of Sports Medicine Pronouncements Committee. Each paper will first be reviewed internally by PC and authors will be expected to address the committees’ comments and revise the document as appropriate. The paper will then enter the peer review process by the publishing journal (see Publication below) and authors will be expected to address reviewers’ comments and revise document as appropriate. Once approved by journal reviewers and accepted for publication by the publishing journal, the paper will be forwarded to the Administrative Council/Board of Trustees for review and final decision regarding approval and dissemination. 

After five years, each Expert Consensus Statement will be reviewed and considered for an update or sunsetting. If an update is recommended, two to three of the original authors will be considered as participants in the update. Additional content experts not on the original writing team will also be identified to participate as authors on the update. 

Normally published/communicated:

As an “official pronouncement” of the College, these statements will be published in an ACSM journal (e.g. MSSE, ACSM Translational Journal) and the specific journal will be selected by ACSM Editorin-Chiefs according to the existing protocol in the Publications Department. Expert Consensus Statements will also be promoted and disseminated via additional channels such as Sports Medicine Bulletin, social media, acsm.org, etc.