What is an I/EP?
I/EPs are brief (2-page) sheets that provide consumer-friendly information on topics relevant to rehabilitation medicine. I/EPs are designed to be torn out and copied or downloaded for sharing with others.
I/EPs may present basic background or overview on a particular topic of importance, brief how-to suggestions, worksheets, or other information useful to everyday living or clinical practice. Topics may address lifestyle, well-being, relationships, safety, travel, technology, or other issues relevant to living with a disability or providing care or services to people with disabilities.
Potential audiences for I/EPs include people with disabilities, caregivers, clinicians, or others with an interest in rehabilitation-related topics. While I/EPs may provide information or suggestions that may assist clinicians in their practice, they should not present position statements or clinical practice guidelines. For guidance on developing specific recommendations for clinical practice, consult ACRM's Evidence and Practice Committee [http://www.acrm.org/resources/evidence-and-practice/
I/EPs are published on a monthly-to bi-monthly basis in the Organization News section of Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
and are indexed in PubMed. Accepted I/EPs are published electronically ahead of print. A complete list of I/EPs published to date is posted on the ACRM website [http://www.archives-pmr.org/content/infoeducation
Who can create an I/EP?
I/EPs are welcomed from all members of the rehabilitation community with knowledge on topics of interest. I/EPs may be submitted by individuals, or on behalf of a group (such as an ACRM Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group, Networking Group, or Task Force). Both members and non-members of ACRM may submit I/EPs.
What are the benefits of creating an I/EP?
I/EPs provide an opportunity to share research findings and other information in a manner that facilitates translation of knowledge into everyday life and clinical practice. In so doing, they may help people with disabilities make decisions or take other actions to maximize health and well-being. I/EPs also may help to improve the quality of clinical services provided to individuals with disabilities. Creating an I/EP provides authors an opportunity to collaborate with others who share common interests, and can be a means of building networking connections. I/EPs help investigators fulfill the dissemination requirements of their grants. I/EP authorship can also be a way to build the consumer education portion of your curriculum vitae.
If I would like to create an I/EP, how do I start?
Review the requirements for I/EPs submissions and suggestions for creating engaging content that are presented in this guide.
Choose a general topic in which further education is needed through discussion with consumers, other professionals, etc.
Review existing resources to identify gaps in coverage and avoid duplication.
Identify a specific topic to be addressed by the I/EP.
Identify collaborators with relevant expertise and/or experience.
Develop an outline for the content of the I/EP.
If at any point, you need guidance, contact the Chair of the Communications Committee. (See the ACRM Committees page [http://www.acrm.org/about/committees-groups/
] for the name and e-mail address of the current Chair.)
How should I/EP manuscripts be formatted?
References: Authors are asked to include references in their I/EP manuscripts (limit 12) to demonstrate to reviewers that coverage reflects the state of the art. References may be removed prior to publication to maximize readability of the page and meet space constraints.
Authorship and acknowledgements: Authors' names, acknowledgements, and attribution to a specific ACRM ISIG, Networking Group, or Task Force should be included at the end of your manuscript.
Disclaimers: I/EPs should include the following disclaimer: “This information is not meant to replace the advice of a medical professional and should not be interpreted as a clinical practice guideline. This Information/Education Page may be reproduced for noncommercial use for health care professionals and other service providers to share with their patients or clients. Any other reproduction is subject to approval by the publisher.”
What should I do to maximize the usefulness and quality of my I/EP?
To create an I/EP that makes a unique contribution and is engaging to readers, consider the following suggestions:
Review existing resources to avoid duplication.
Specify your audience. When creating your I/EP, think carefully about who you are targeting with its content. In general, writing to a more narrow audience will allow you to tailor the information presented more effectively. If, however, you are writing an I/EP that you intend to be useful to multiple audiences (clinicians and non-clinicians), write the I/EP in language suitable for the least medically knowledgeable portion of that audience to maximize its accessibility to readers. Consider including a subtitle that specifies your audience (for example: “Five Key Exercises for Upper Body Strength: A Guide for Persons with Paraplegia”).
Use appropriate terminology and tone for the intended audience. For I/EPs targeted to non-clinicians, authors should try to find more common substitutes for technical or clinical terminology and phrases where possible.
Write in second person point of view (“you”) rather than third person (“people with spinal cord injury”) to streamline the writing and make the content more personally engaging.
Aim for an 8th grade reading level
for I/EPs targeted to non-clinical audiences. Authors can check the reading level of their manuscripts at http://read-able.com/
Use short sentences without dependent clauses.
Use headings and subheadings to organize the content of the I/EP. A question and answer format can be helpful.
When presenting a list, use bullets. Bulleted lists can also help break up large sections of text.
Consider using images, figures, or tables to convey information rather than only text.
Share drafts of your I/EP with members of the target audience prior to submission to obtain feedback to assist the writing process.
How do I submit an I/EP for review?
Submit Information/Education Page manuscripts or proposals to the Chair of the Communications Committee of ACRM via e-mail. See the ACRM Committees Page [http://www.acrm.org/about/committees-groups/
] for the name and e-mail address of the current chair. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.
Submissions should include:
What is the review process for I/EPs?
At least 2 members of the ACRM Communications Committee review the manuscript for intelligibility, accessibility, and usefulness. Note that this should not be considered an official peer review of the content. Reviewers consider the extent to which the I/EP:
Addresses a topic of importance
Presents content that is appropriate to share in an I/EP as opposed to other venues (position statements, clinical practice guidelines, etc.)
Is written in a manner that is understandable
Contains content that appears to be appropriately supported (through research evidence, expert consensus, or other means relevant to the topic)
The Communications Committee Chair compiles feedback received and sends an e-mail notifying the corresponding author of acceptance, acceptance with revisions, or rejection of the manuscript. Allow 30-60 days to complete this initial review/feedback process.
If revisions are requested, the corresponding author makes revisions, and sends (1) the revised I/EP and (2) a cover letter discussing the revisions back to Communications Committee Chair for final review.
After satisfactory review of manuscript, the Communications Committee Chair approves the manuscript and sends it to the Archives editorial office.
What happens after the I/EP is approved for publication?
The Archives editorial office will contact the corresponding author to request copyright release and conflict of interest (ICMJE) forms of all co-authors as per standard Archives submission protocols. (Blank copies of the forms will be provided by the editorial office.) Upon receipt of all required forms, the editorial office will formally submit the I/EP manuscript to the Archives submission system on behalf of the authors. The editorial office will accept and send the I/EP to the publisher for typesetting and creation of proof. Following approval of content and layout in the proofing process, the I/EP will be scheduled for the next available issue at the discretion of the editors of the Archives.