Channel Descriptions

AIHA University Body of Knowledge/Framework

Description: Framework documents consist of complete sets of concepts, terms, and activities that make up a specific professional domain as defined by an academic or professional body. This format is useful for sharing knowledge in a particular area and how an individual is expected to master it to be considered or certified as a practitioner.

Target Audience: OEHS audience

Right for Me? Choose this format if you are looking to create content that outlines the knowledge, skills, and abilities an individual should possess and demonstrate to work successfully in a particular field or industry.

Format Outline:

  • Lists the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to work in a particular field or industry
  • Serves as the first step in the development of a registry, certificate, or training program
  • Includes references in APA style to support content
Book

Description: A book distributes academic research or professional developmental information.

Target Audience: OEHS audience

Right for Me? Choose this format if you are looking to create content in greater depth than what is possible through a fact sheet, guidance document, or white paper, including specific knowledge and methodologies.

Format Outline:

  • Page count depends on content and format—will your book be used as a guideline, field manual, college textbook, or some other specific purpose?
  • Can be released as a downloadable PDF or as a physical, hardcover copy
  • Includes references in APA style to support content
Fact Sheet

Description: Fact sheets present data in a format that emphasizes key points concisely, usually using bullet points, headings, or tables. Fact sheets often contain technical data, lists, statistics, educational material, or how-to advice. On occasion, they may summarize a longer document. Fact sheets can also be presented visually as infographics.

Target Audience: OEHS or public audience

Right for Me? Choose this format if you are writing on a particular topic to inform a specific audience with high-level knowledge of that topic.

Format Outline:

  • Three pages or less
  • Should be visually appealing, comprised of tables, charts, graphs, and bullet lists of supporting facts
  • Summary of most important information; should be brief and concise
  • Cite sources or attributions in APA style and include links to further information
Guidance Document

Description: Guidance documents suggest best practices and provide non-binding advice that follows a prescribed procedure or process. Guidance documents should be viewed only as recommendations unless specific regulatory requirements are cited.

Target Audience: OEHS or public audience

Right for Me? Guidance documents represent the current thinking of AIHA and its members on a particular subject. Choose this format if you want to document the way activities should be performed to facilitate consistent conformance.

Format Outline:

  • Provides broad advice for following a procedure or process
  • Includes a brief statement of purpose to clarify the reason for the document's creation, which also refers to any directly related document such as a policy or regulation the document supports
  • Includes no mandatory statements—these belong in a policy, procedure, or standard document
  • Sometimes may be best structured as FAQs or bulleted lists
  • May provide more extensive guidance or advice for best practices
  • Includes references in APA style to support content
  • May include infographics
Position Statement

Description: Position statements are short statements that reflect the association's stand on a particular viewpoint or issue related to occupational and environmental health and safety. A position statement may be included in the executive summary of a white paper.

Target Audience: OEHS or public audience

Right for Me? Choose this format if you feel the association should take an official position on an issue related to a mission-critical topic.

Format Outline:

  • Two pages or less
  • States the official position of AIHA
  • Includes a rationale in support of the position
  • Requires the approval of the AIHA Board of Directors
White Paper

Description: White papers are persuasive, in-depth reports or essays that include executive summaries, are supported by scientific research, and are written to educate the target audience on an issue or explain and promote a particular methodology. White papers are meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.

Target Audience: OEHS or public audience

Right for Me? A white paper is a research report or guide that helps solve a problem. Choose this format if you intend to educate readers by bringing to light a new or different perspective.

Format Outline:

  • Includes an executive summary that outlines the white paper's main points, including any recommendations and crucial data that supports them
  • Should be visually appealing, with features like diagrams, charts, graphs, examples, case studies, infographics, and tables
  • Includes reference list in APA style to support content

Submission & Approval Process Guidelines for Publications

New content proposals must be reviewed and approved by the Content Portfolio Advisory Group (CPAG) and the AIHA Board of Directors.

The approval process includes determining how the proposal aligns with AIHA's CPAG Content Priorities. Please review the CPAG Content Priorities Summary Document (PDF) to see how your proposal can best align with one or more of the priorities.

For NEW Content Proposals:

STEP 1: The proposal is reviewed by AIHA staff, volunteer group leadership, and the volunteer group Board liaison(s) concurrently.

STEP 2: Comments are compiled, and an email is sent to members of CPAG to notify them that a proposal is ready for review.

STEP 3: CPAG members are given approximately five business days to review the initial proposal and provide preliminary feedback to the project leader. The project leader is then given approximately five business days to modify the proposal based on CPAG's feedback. CPAG has approximately five business days to score the final proposal. The possible scoring decisions are as follows:

  • An overall average score of ≥3.5 – the proposal has been approved without further discussion.
  • An overall average score of <3.5 means that the proposal is declined. However, the project leader can submit a new proposal that addresses, eliminates, or mitigates CPAG's concerns

STEP 4: For Publications EXCEPT for Position Statements that CPAG has approved are sent to the AIHA Board for review and final decision-making. Depending on the complexity of the issue, the Board may decide via a vote by electronic ballot (generally within five business days and requiring unanimous agreement) or defer discussion until its next scheduled meeting. If a Board member recuses themselves, this does not count against the unanimous agreement provision. That is, if the remaining members are all in accord, the proposal is approved.

There are two possible outcomes during this review stage:

  • The AIHA Board approves a project that CPAG has approved. If the proposal does not need funding, then the project leader and the originating volunteer group may start work. If the proposal is approved and requires funding, then the volunteer group project leader will submit funding requests at the time of their annual business plan submission or work with staff to secure funds.
  • The AIHA Board disapproves a project that CPAG has approved. In this case, the project leader may submit a new proposal that addresses, eliminates, or mitigates the Board's concerns.
For Position Statements: Because position statements are ultimately the purview of the AIHA Board, all proposals for NEW position statements, whether approved or not by CPAG, are sent to the Board for final review and approval. Once the position statement has been developed, the final document must be reviewed and approved by the Board prior to publication.

STEP 5: Staff communicates the final decision to the project leader, proposal sponsors such as the volunteer group chair and vice-chair, CPAG members, and any staff who provided input on the Board's decision.

STEP 6: Once the manuscript has been drafted and peer-reviewed, the AIHA Board liaison(s) must review and approve the final document prior to being published.

For EXISTING Content Proposals:

All publications are reviewed on a five-year basis by CPAG and the responsible volunteer group to ensure content is relevant and up to date. CPAG issues a recommendation whether the content should be retained as is, amended, or archived. Ultimately, the staff communicates the final decision to the project leader, proposal sponsors such as the volunteer group chair and vice-chair, CPAG, and any staff who played a role in the Board's decision.

Revised and updated content will be available and accessible via access to the AIHA webpage, while archived content will not be visible. Volunteer group leadership may request staff for access to archived data.

For publications that need to be updated at or prior to its next review cycle, proposals must be submitted to CPAG for review and approval via the Content Proposal Form. If significant revisions are needed, these proposals may require additional review and approval by the Board. AIHA staff may consult with the volunteer group Board liaison(s) regarding issues with content (i.e., vague statements, unclear references, potentially controversial material, and poor writing).

For Position Statements: All proposals to update EXISTING position statements, whether approved by CPAG or not, are sent to the Board for final review and approval. Once the position statement has been updated, the final document must be reviewed and approved by the Board prior to publication.

Peer Review Process

Peer reviewer plays a critical role in the development of AIHA publications. Peer reviewers are subject matter experts on the topic covered by the document, but they do not contribute to the document's development except by providing feedback to authors for improving the quality and validity of the research presented in the manuscript.

Peer reviewers are determined by the volunteers that develop the content. The proposal submitter lists the names of the peer reviewers and selects the peer review level when completing the content proposal form. Once a publication has been approved for development, the manuscript must go through the formal peer-review process prior to publication. Depending on the nature of the content that the author submits, the level of necessary peer review will vary. There are three peer review levels:

Level 1: Content requires peer review by independent members (non-authors) of the originating volunteer group. This content may be described as:

  • Narrow in technical or scientific scope
  • Covered entirely under the expertise of the originating AIHA committee
  • Little or no controversy surrounding the subject matter

Level 2: Content requires peer review by independent reviewers (non-authors) from several technical volunteer groups. This content may be described as:

  • Moderately broad in technical or scientific scope
  • Relating to the expertise and interest of several AIHA committees
  • Encompassing science policy issues amenable to broadly different interpretations and thus subject to potential controversy within the scientific community and AIHA

Level 3: Content requires peer review by multiple technical volunteer groups and selected independent outside experts. This content may be described as:

    • Broad in technical or scientific scope and affecting many disciplines
    • Directly concerning important non-AIHA stakeholders
    • Having the potential to generate intense controversy within and outside of AIHA
    • Having the potential to engage media attention or impact public policy

    For more information on the peer review process, please review the following documents:

    We ensure that no authors will be discriminated against based on the content they provide to improve worker health. We also understand some topics may be more sensitive than others. The fact remains that, if a topic is relevant to worker health and safety, we should craft informational content relevant to it that focuses on science rather than any political, economic, or social goal.

    Ready to submit your idea?

    Please check out the AIHA University before submitting a proposal to avoid proposing a product that we already offer. You may want to contact us about product viability prior to submitting a proposal as we know our market and can help you focus your proposal.