Publications policy for College documents

  1. Proposals for new documents, or new versions of existing documents, should be emailed to the Publishing team
  2. The lead author/committee will draft the document in the normal fashion, with appropriate narrow consultation with experts and other key stakeholders. Advice regarding appropriate consultation at this stage may be sought from or offered by the Director of Communications or the Director of Professional Practice.
  3. Once it has reached the stage of an advanced draft, the document will be sent to the Publishing team for editing into house style.
  4. If the document affects pathology practice, it will then be placed on the members-only ‘Documents in development’ area of the College website for consultation with the membership. An email will be sent to the appropriate subset of the College membership, requesting feedback within a specified time limit (usually 4 weeks). Notice will also be included in the President’s e-newsletter.
  5. All feedback is collated by the Publishing team and at the end of the consultation period the feedback is sent to the lead author/committee for comment and action.
  6. The author/s will analyse the feedback and amend/finalise the document accordingly. They will also provide briefly annotate the feedback, indicating what action has been taken in redrafting the document or, if appropriate, the reasons why no action has been taken.
  7. The annotated feedback and redrafted document are both passed to the Director of Communications, whose role is to ensure that the feedback has been substantively and fairly assessed.
  8. Preparation of the final document remains at the discretion of the lead author/committee. However, if it seems that important feedback has not been included in the final draft, options for the Director of Communications would include:
  • a suggestion to discuss and justify this decision within the document
  • a suggestion to make clear within the document that particular items are the view of the drafting group and not necessarily a majority view
  • a suggestion to initiate a further round of feedback on specific unresolved points
  • in the unlikely event that a way forward could not be agreed, referral of the salient points for consideration by College Council
  • once signed off by the Director of Communications, the document is passed back to the Publishing team for final editing and publication on the website (our default mode of publication) and in hard copy if appropriate.

In the interests of transparency, the annotated feedback is available on request from the Publishing team for scrutiny by members and any other interested party.

Documents should regularly be reviewed by the lead author/committee. Where subsequent changes need to be made, the Director of Communications will decided whether or not it warrants a new edition, with its own (possibly shortened) online consultation, or whether a note of the changes can be made in the ‘Document control’ box in the original document.

Please contact Stacy Baxter, Editorial Manager (Publishing and Digital) or call 020 7451 6730 if you have any queries about this policy. You can also email the Publishing team

This is the College’s first publications policy, accepted by Council in May 2005. Updated by the Publishing Department in July 2017.