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Fellowship Paper Content and Submission Guidelines

Standards for Acceptance of Written Documents Suitable for Publication

All research papers submitted by Fellowship applicants must be relevant and meaningful for those in the CS profession, and offer a fresh, original (never been previously published by any other publication or organization), and detailed perspective on research-based topics pertinent to the CS profession (e.g., Targeted processes or practices that were implemented by the department/facility, which led to clear and quantifiable improvements in the CS department and/or related areas. Note: First-person accounts/narratives and general summaries or reports on CS-related practices or processes will not be considered). Some examples of previously-accepted Fellowship papers include: Reducing Immediate Use Steam Sterilization: SPD's Role; Boiling: The Answer to High-Level Disinfection of Surgical Instruments in a Third World Country; and Managing the Steam Sterilization Process.

Research papers should be extensively researched and, generally, at least ten pages in length. Papers should be written in a professional manner, much like a journal article or college thesis, and include references to support statements, data and other content. Careful attention must also be paid to proper writing style, formatting, punctuation and grammar. Submissions failing to meet any of these criteria will not be considered. All documents will be evaluated by the IAHCSMM Fellowship Committee.

Content and Organization of Fellowship Papers

  1. Explain in detail how the topic/findings of the research paper affect the hospital or profession. Provide enough detail so the document will be understandable.
  2. The document must detail the participant's experience in the CS department, and also with the topic chosen for the research paper.
  3. Length and Type: Use type that is similar to the type used throughout these guidelines. Please, no cursive or artistic print. This can be difficult to read. The document submitted must be at least 8 to 10 typed and double spaced pages. estimate how long the document might run in printed pages, count every written page (including the title page and text pages, tables, and figures) and divide by 3 (i.e., 1 printed page = 3 written pages).
  4. Headings: Carefully consider your material and the sequence and levels of importance of the ideas you wish to present. Headings help a reader grasp the document's outline and the relative importance of the parts of the document. Use footnotes where applicable. The document should contain:
    1. Title Page – A title should summarize the main idea of the document simply and, if possible, with style. It should be a concise statement of the main topic and should be fully explanatory when standing alone.
    2. Introductory Paragraph – The body of your document should open with an introduction that presents the specific problem or issue and describes the research strategy. Before writing your introduction, consider
      1. * What is the point of the document?
      2. * How does your research relate to the problem?
      3. * What are the implications of your study, and how does the research relate to previous work in the area? What other research ties into your presentation?
      4. A good introduction answers these questions in one to two paragraphs.
    3. Body – The body of your document should flow smoothly with each paragraph developing on the previous, keeping the main idea, concept, project as the main focus. Your body, once the foundation has been established through your introduction will educate the reader. The body should be written with the help of a well thought out outline where one idea or concept or subsection develops and builds from the previous. It is here you will support your ideas and research with well thought out graphs, tables, and pictures. Properly placed, these pictorials will help solidify and grab the reader. Giving a visual should help the reader understand a specific subsection of your works.
    4. Concluding Paragraph – The final paragraph of your document should guide the reader to understanding
      1. * What was the author's purpose or contribution to the subject matter?
      2. * How has this article helped identify or resolved a plaguing issue in the industry?
      3. * What conclusions or ideas can the reader draw from my research that has not been established before?
  5. Graphs, Tables, and Illustrations – must directly relate to the project and be clearly understandable.
  6. References – Just as data in your document support interpretations and conclusions, so reference citations document statements made about the literature used. Authors should choose references judiciously and must include only the sources that were used in the preparation of the document. The author must take care that each source referenced appears in both the document as well as on the reference list. The standard procedures to be utilized for references ensure that the references are accurate, complete, and useful to the readers.
  7. Strategies to Improve Writing Style – Three approaches to achieving professional and effective communication are (1) writing from an outline; (2) putting aside the first draft, then rereading it after a delay; and (3) asking a colleague to criticize the draft for you. It also helps to read other articles—looking at style rather than content.
    1. Writing from an outline helps identify main ideas, defines subordinate ideas, disciplines your writing, maintains continuity and pacing, and points out omissions.
    2. Rereading your own copy after setting it aside for a few days permits a fresh approach. Reading the paper aloud enables you not only to see faults that "were never there" on the previous reading but to hear them as well. When these problems are corrected, give a polished copy to a colleague—preferably a person who has published but who has not been close to your own work—for a critical review.
    3. These strategies, particularly the latter, may require you to invest more time in the document than you had anticipated. The results of these helpful hints, however, may be greater accuracy and thoroughness and clearer communication.
  8. Grammar – Incorrect grammar and careless construction of sentences distract the reader, introduce ambiguity, and generally obstruct communication. When you develop a clear writing style and use correct grammar, you show a concern not only for accurately presenting your knowledge and ideas but also for easing the reader's task. Spelling errors should go without saying but, proofreading your document and the use of spell check on your word processor should eliminate all misspelled words. Papers that contain these errors will not be accepted.
  9. Order and Numbering of Document Pages – Number all pages consecutively. Arrange your document as follows:
    1. * title page with title, author's name.
    2. * table of contents (separate page, number 1).
    3. * text (start on a new page, numbered page 2).
    4. * references (start on a new page).
  10. Cover Letter – Finally a cover letter should accompany your document. In your cover letter you should identify the purpose of your undertaking and what motivated you to pursue this particular subject matter. The second paragraph should briefly describe your background and education giving the Fellowship committee a quick snapshot of the author and making the reading a little more personal. Your final paragraph should include your phone number where the author can be reached should there be any questions raised by the committee members.

Applicants may email IAHCSMM with any questions regarding these guidelines.

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