Q&A: Jim Douketis Explains How to Pariticpate in Guidance and Guidelines Committee Projects
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Posted by: Joshua Muia
The Early Career Task Force (ECTF) of the ISTH is committed to exposing early career members to diverse opportunities within ISTH which are avenues for both professional and career development and collaborations. One of these opportunities is creating or editing guidance and guideline documents, an effort led by the Guidance and Guidelines committee (G&G) of the ISTH. In this two-part series, the ISTH first published an early career researcher’s experience writing an SSC recommendation. In this second article the ISTH spoke with Jim Douketis, M.D., G&G committee member and co-author with Jeff Weitz, M.D., of a call to action paper in JTH: ‘Guidance, guidelines, and communications. J Thromb Haemost 2014; 12: 1744–1745.’ See the Q&A below:
1. Since the publication of the guidance, guidelines, and communications commentary in JTH, how have readers responded to your call for participation? Are you seeing increased proposals submissions or inquiries?
Jim Douketis: There are a number of manuscripts published as guidance documents (currently 11 and 2 endorsed from other societies) since the inception of the guidance document process. We have not had a lot of individual ISTH members—early career or senior—come forward to the committee to put their name forth as individuals to collaborate or lead initiatives. The “Call to Action” paper in JTH tried to encourage people to come forward with ideas and participation. We need to do more work to disseminate this opportunity to ISTH members, especially early career members. People can participate either through specific SSC subcommittees or by approaching the G&G committee directly. The G&G leaders will pair people with collaborators or senior mentors as needed.
2. In the commentary it was stated “The G&G Committee also provides a conduit for educational and other scholarly opportunities for members involved with the ISTH Young Professionals Group.” Could you describe the roles an early career ISTH member might have in developing and publishing a guidance or guideline document proposal?
JD: Early career professional could lead a project, if there is enough support from more senior mentors. Many of these documents are expert opinion because evidence is not strong. Therefore, including senior mentors and collaborators is important. There is also an option for early career professionals to be a collaborator (including performing literature review) but not the primary leader on a guidance document, if the early career professional were more comfortable with that process. The bottom line is that we want to get more people engaged.
3. If early career researchers want to get involved with an ongoing G&G project, how can they find out about current projects? What kinds of roles can an early career ISTH member have with a guidance or guideline project? How do you suggest they get involved?
JD: The ISTH website continually list all the prior guidance documents and SSC communications (see here). Also, an outline of the process for submission is found on the website. However, do not feel that a proposal needs to be fully developed on your own. If you have an idea, feel free to reach out to the G&G chairs for advice (email firstname.lastname@example.org). They may help you develop the proposal directly, or connect you with a content expert who can help develop the proposal with you. Note that we also review guidelines from other societies for participation/endorsement. This is another opportunity to be involved in the guideline and guidance development process.
4. If an early career researcher has an idea for a new guidance or guideline document, what do you recommend they do for the first steps to get that project started?
JD: Please contact either of the two G&G co-chairs, myself and Jeff Weitz, first since we are quite familiar with both G&G and SSC documents, and we can help authors to find the best fit for their proposed document/topic. Email us at email@example.com.
5. Are there mentoring opportunities within the G&G Committee for early career ISTH members who are interested in being involved in G&G development but have never been involved in one of these projects before?
JD: We are happy to help connect young professionals with more senior ISTH members to help with proposal projects. Also, if there is a topic that does not fall within a specific subcommittee, G&G chairs can help identify best mentors.
6. What is the difference between a guidance document, a guideline, and an SSC recommendation document? If an early career ISTH member has an idea for a new project, but is not sure which of these types of documents is most appropriate, who should they contact to get feedback?
JD: I would recommend reading our ‘Call to Action’ article for more details that appeared in JTH in October, 2014. In brief, SSC communications focus on very specific items usually relevant to researchers, such as lab standardization, nomenclatures, protocols, etc. These proposals and documents do not go through G&G committee. In contrast, the G&G committee functions independent of SSC, but partners closely with SSC committees because of the expertise that the various SSC subcommittees have among their members. A guideline or guidance document is intended to guide clinical practice and serve as a reference for clinicians managing patient care.
We, at the G&G committee, are willing to assist where possible and we welcome any one to contact us (G&G chairs) with any questions.
Additional comments from ECTF:
The G&G committee co-chairs have a list of ongoing, past, future documents. Feel free to contact them if you want to learn more about current or future projects. The process for proposals is available here. Projects are vetted for appropriateness. Chairs will help people move through that process.
From ISTH website, hover over the Publications tab to find links to Guidance Document webpages including lists of all prior publications, types of guidance documents that have been published previously, and an explanation of the differences between a SSC recommendation and a guidance or guideline document in more detail.
Thanks to Jim Douketis. Thanks, also, to Geoffrey Barnes and Ketan Kulkarni for their contributions.