How Does the Development Process of Position and Practice Papers Ensure Integrity?

The Academy Positions Committee (APC) workgroup oversees the development of Position and Practice Papers with particular attention to preserving the integrity of the process. It is essential that the creation of those materials be completely free from any suggestion of influence by individuals or entities that have an economic or financial interest in their subject matter. To that end, each and every participant in the authorship or review of the papers is subject to strict scrutiny.

Each applicant as an author, reviewer or content advisor of a position or practice paper is required to complete a "Duality of Interest Disclosure Form" that calls for the disclosure of any relevant relationships with or interests in any companies whose products or services are indirectly related to the subject matter of the paper. The applicants are asked to provide sufficient information to enable the APC workgroup, which reviews each form, to know every relationship, including employment, membership on the board of directors or any fiduciary relationship, membership on a scientific advisory panel or other standing scientific/medical committee, ownership of stock, receipt of honoraria or consulting fees, or receipt of financial support or grants for research, that might affect or influence the individuals conduct in the selected role. A company is defined as a for-profit concern engaged in the development, manufacture or sale of foods, foodservice, pharmaceutical or biomedical products.

After the selection process is completed, all position and practice paper authors also are required to sign the "Academy Conflict of Interest Form," which further confirms the absence of any conflicts that might improperly impair the individual's objectivity, prior to starting to work on the position or practice paper.

Steps are taken to ensure that there is no interaction with any related industry contacts (including all Academy industry partners) regarding the development of position or practice papers:

  • Authors, reviewers and content advisors are advised to keep their role in the development of the paper confidential.
  • Any documentation or educational materials, etc. received from industry or other organizations must be reviewed and approved by the APC workgroup before it can be shared with any author or content advisor.
  • Drafts of position and practice papers in development are only released to the external reviewers prior to publication.