ACOG Collaboration with Peer Organizations on Clinical Documents

Peer organizations occasionally ask ACOG to develop clinical documents jointly or to endorse or otherwise support the peer organization’s clinical documents. This information only applies to clinical documents and not to other types of non-clinical documents — such as policy statements, letters of supports, and comments — with peer organizations; the development and review of other non-clinical documents will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Jump to:
Joint Clinical Documents
Endorsed Documents
Supported Documents
Silent Review


Joint Clinical Documents

Joint clinical documents are developed cooperatively between a peer organization and ACOG, and provide clinical guidance. Joint clinical documents follow ACOG’s standard process for the development, review, approval, and revision of clinical documents.  Prior to writing a joint clinical document, ACOG and the peer organization should have a signed agreement explaining each party’s rights and obligations.  ACOG prefers to retain sole copyright to joint clinical documents and to publish them only in Obstetrics & Gynecology. The peer organization is allowed to post the document on its website and to distribute and promote the document, according to the signed agreement. ACOG will consider joint publication on a case–by-case basis.

Joint clinical documents are published on ACOG’s website according to their document type. Committee Opinions and Obstetric Care Consensus documents are available to the public. ACOG members may log in to view Practice Bulletins.

Endorsement

ACOG endorsement of a peer organization’s clinical document denotes that ACOG fully supports the clinical guidance in the document. Clinical documents endorsed by ACOG are considered official ACOG clinical guidance. In general, ACOG endorses documents that are developed with ACOG’s participation from the beginning of document development. Further, ACOG only endorses documents when the document is on a topic relevant to ACOG’s mission, the organization developing the document is a respected peer organization, and ACOG is willing to endorse the document publicly. Any document endorsed by ACOG must go through review by staff, the appropriate ACOG committee and/or work group chair (with the option of full committee/work group review), ACOG’s Clinical Document Review Panel, and ACOG’s Executive Board. ACOG allows its name and/or logo to appear on documents it endorses. For endorsed documents, ACOG lists the title of the document and provides a hyperlink to the document on both the Obstetrics & Gynecology College publications’ breaker page and ACOG’s website. Occasionally, ACOG may also integrate content from an endorsed document into a separate ACOG document.

ACOG’s endorsement of the document shall expire when the document is revised or withdrawn, or five years after publication, whichever comes first. ACOG will review each endorsement every 18-24 months for reaffirmation or withdrawal if the endorsed document has not already been revised or withdrawn.

Support

ACOG support denotes a lower level of approval than endorsement and means that ACOG considers the clinical document to be of educational value to its members, although ACOG may not agree with every recommendation or statement in the document. ACOG only supports documents when the document is on a topic relevant to ACOG’s mission, the organization developing the document is a respected peer organization, and ACOG is willing to support the document publicly. Any document supported by ACOG must go through review by staff, the appropriate ACOG committee and/or work group chair, and ACOG’s Clinical Document Review Panel. Documents supported by ACOG are not considered official ACOG guidance. ACOG allows its name to appear on documents it supports but does not allow its logo to appear in these documents.  For supported documents, ACOG lists the title of the document on ACOG’s website, stating it is for educational purposes only, and hyperlinks to the document. Supported documents are not acknowledged in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

ACOG’s support of the document shall expire when the document is revised or withdrawn, or five years after publication, whichever comes first. Consideration for continued support or withdrawal of support will be decided by the appropriate ACOG committees on a case-by-case basis.

Silent Review

Silent review is where ACOG reviews and provides comments to a peer organization’s clinical document and ACOG informs the peer organization that its review is to be kept confidential.  A silent review does not denote ACOG endorsement or support of a clinical document and silently reviewed documents are not considered ACOG guidance. A silent review may occur when 1) ACOG reviews a document, but is unable to endorse or support it; or 2) ACOG reviews a document as a courtesy to a peer organization, but with no intention of endorsing or supporting the document. Silent review may be performed by appropriate staff, clinical experts, and/or committees.

Contact:

Margaret Villalonga
Director, Obstetrics and Genetics
mvillalonga@acog.org

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188 | Mailing Address: PO Box 70620, Washington, DC 20024-9998