Newsletter Guest Editor Guidelines

Version 1.0 – Sep 21, 2016


Each month, an S4PM member can volunteer to work with the newsletter production team as a Guest Editor.  Specific responsibilities include:

  1. Source content around a selected theme.
  2. Write an editorial linking all submitted articles together.
  3. Collect other submissions from S4PM board of directors.
  4. Manage the project through to publication.

These guidelines were created at the request of those involved in publishing the Newsletter, in order to provide some basic information and continuity of process in a volunteer effort where many participants are new to publishing. To someone with no previous experience in publishing or editing, they may seem initially intimidating, but in fact are there to provide a framework and resources. It can’t be stressed enough that the editorial board and previous editors stand ready to answer questions and provide support.


  1. Source Content – the guest editor will select a theme related to participatory medicine in line with their expertise and interests.  Based on the theme selected, the guest editor will source content from submitting authors, preferably fellow S4PM members.  If no fellow members can contribute, outside content may be sourced with the intent to raise S4PM’s exposure through those sourced authors.  The number of articles is up to the guest editor, usually 3 to 4 articles of 500 to 1,000 words each.  Once the guest editor has selected a theme and sourced content, they will submit the content to the Associate Editor Lead. All content should be within a Word doc, not as part of an email conversation (include any photos that will accompany the article). If the guest editor prefers to use Google Docs rather than Word, that is also acceptable. The Associate Editor Lead will work through the guest editor and/or directly with the author for any suggested edits, questions and send final approved copy to the Production Team Lead.
  2. Editorial – the guest editor will write an introductory article or editorial linking all the submitted articles using the same guidelines as sourced content.  Length may be less than 500 words at the guest editor’s discretion.
  3. Other submissions – the guest editor will consult with S4PM’s Chairman of the Board and others at the Editor in Chief’s direction for announcements and any other submissions outside the sourced content. These announcements and other pieces will be submitted directly to the newsletter Production Team Lead for compilation into the WordPress site and then linked to from the Newsletter.
  4. Manage the project through publication – suggested timelines for the monthly publication are as follows:
    1. All sourced content completed and submitted to Associate Editors on or before the 15th of the month preceding publication date;
    2. Final revised copy from the Associate Editors submitted to the Production Team Lead on or before the 1st of the publication month;
    3. Articles will be placed on the website first and the editor will do a final review for any edits or changes prior to the newsletter being created.
    4. Coordinate with Production Team Lead for reviewing a “test” version of the newsletter, making any final minor changes; then
    5. Notify the Publisher that all content has been queued up and is ready for final distribution, ideally on or before the 15th of the month.
    6. Once the newsletter has been distributed to membership via MailChimp, the Guest Editor will then go ahead and post notifications on the SPM Listserv, LinkedIn Group, Twitter account, Facebook Group (members only), or ask for help from the Editor in Chief with this task.
  1. Associate Editor responsibilities – the Associate Editors will attempt to catch obvious errors but are generally not in a position to make extensive revisions to an article. Accordingly, the guest editor should request all authors to make a good faith effort to minimize spelling and grammatical errors. A suggested way to do this is to use Word’s spelling and grammar check, and to have at least one other person proofread the article before submission.
  2. Original Articles – The guest editor is responsible for verifying with the authors that all articles are original and have not been previously published in whole or in part, unless specific arrangements are made.
  3. Style Guide – To the extent applicable, the newsletter follows the Journal of Participatory Medicine submission guidelines and style guide . Additional information can be found in our guidelines for blog post submissions.
  4. Images – Authors who wish to reuse images found on the internet are responsible for either securing permission from the copyright owner, or verifying that no such permission is required. Proper credit should be given where appropriate.


SPM Newsletter Editorial Team

Editor-in-Chief: John Hoben
Associate Editor, Video & Audio Editing: Mayank Agarwal MBBS
Production Team Lead: Nanette Mattox
Associate Editors: Marilyn Mann (Lead), Peter Elias, Brenda Denzler
Publisher on behalf of SPM: John Grohol
Chairman of the Board: Danny Sands
Guest Editor: different each month