Background and aim: The European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) aims to further develop its role in international medical and scientific guidance in the field of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, where many types of guidance documents exist. The ESCMID Executive Committee and the Clinical Microbiology and Infection (CMI) editorial board wish to clarify the terminology and format to be used in ESCMID guidance documents submitted for publication in CMI, and to highlight the principles behind ESCMID guidance documents.
Types of guidance documents: There are five types of ESCMID guidance documents: White Papers, Clinical Practice Guidelines, Consensus Statements, State-of-the-Science Statements, and Position Papers. They differ in scope, methods of development, drafting group composition and preferred publication format. Guidance documents can be proposed, developed and published by ESCMID Study Groups, Committees and individual members; often, other scientific societies are involved. The full disclosure of potential conflicts of interest of all drafting group members is a requirement.
Final remarks: Guidance documents constitute a common cultural and scientific background to people in the same and related professions. Also, they are an important educational and training tool. Developing a guidance document is a scientific endeavour, where a sound and transparent development process is needed, requiring multidisciplinary and personal skills. (C) 2018 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.