Consensus Papers

Consensus papers present the results of group processes conducted to identify and synthesize the majority or unanimous opinion of the participants, usually to establish best approaches or practices where none exist. Consensus processes include but are not limited to activities such as surveys, voting, Delphi processes, nominal group technique, etc. Consensus papers should state the research reporting guidelines appropriate for the consensus processes employed.

Credibility of consensus statements is based on the participants, including their qualifications and representativeness of the community of practice; the consensus methods used, for example, use of methods that decrease bias and promote completeness and the fidelity with which they were carried out; the processes for verifying and validating the resulting consensus statements, such as member-checking, peer-review, or public comment; and the how the received comments were addressed. Thus, consensus papers will describe these aspects of the methods used to achieve the consensus statements therein. The methods description may be included in the body of the consensus paper or as an appendix. Limitations of the consensus processes used should be enumerated.

As such, consensus statements are offered as findings obtained through systematic processes and will not, themselves, be subject to peer-review as part of JSCDM’s consideration for publication. The methodology description will be independently peer reviewed to assure that the methods are completely and clearly articulated. 

Consensus paper word count limit: 4000 words (exceptions may be granted based on the scope of the work)

Structured abstract word count limit: 250 words and containing a statement of the introduction and objectives, the type of methods used to achieve consensus, and a summary of the resulting consensus statements. 

Table limit: 4

Figure limit: 6

References: required and unlimited

The methods section (or appendix) of consensus articles will undergo editorial screening and will be peer-reviewed according to a standard review rubric. Consensus papers will carry a peer-reviewed designation.