Section 9.5



These guidelines are a reference and working tool for both the ERB and editorial staff in publishing Professional Safety

In this document, the word journal refers to Professional Safety, the monthly journal of ASSE. Other key abbreviations: VP-PD = Vice President, Council on Professional Development; L-PD = Liaison to Council on Professional Development; EX.D = Executive Director; ERB = Editorial Review Board; ED = Editor; ES = Editorial Staff.

The ERB develops for review and approval by the Council on Professional Development or Board of Directors as appropriate journal policies. The group reports to the VP-PD.


PS is a journal published to inform the professional occupational SH&E specialist community about developments in the research, technology and management of accident prevention, industry best practices and safety management techniques and trends. All feature content is blind-peer-reviewed by the eight-member ERB. The journal’s mission is to advance the professional discourse, promote the advancement and development of SH&E professionals, and disseminate the body of knowledge of the SH&E profession.

Judgments made or opinions expressed in the journal’s feature articles, news sections, letters to the editor, meeting reports or related journal content do not necessarily reflect the views of ASSE nor should they be considered an expression of official policy or endorsement by ASSE. They are published for the purpose of sharing views with, and encouraging dialogue and independent thought among readers on areas of vital concern to the SH&E profession. Official positions, opinions or statements are labeled as such.

ES schedules deadlines and conducts daily operations to ensure timely publication and delivery to the readership.  ES also has responsibility to secure and maintain all copyrights for the journal and operation of PS and protection of its contents.


A.  Article Categories

1) Student article. An article written and submitted for publication by a student(s) currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program. To qualify as a student paper, the manuscript must meet the following criteria:

Author has less than three years’ practical experience working in a field related to occupational safety, health, industrial hygiene and/or environmental or related endeavor;
No coauthors are current university faculty members.

2) Professional article. A paper written and submitted for publication that does not meet the criteria for a student article.

As a guideline, an individual author or authors from the same company, university, etc., may only publish two articles per calendar year, unless otherwise approved by the ERB. Honorariums shall not be paid for any article, unless specific arrangements are made in advance based on individual circumstances (e.g., contracting with a professional writer).

Reader letters should address specific articles, editorials, letters, columns and news reports published in PS or Society Update. Letters must appear within 6 months of the referenced publication. In addition, ES reserves the right to select which letters will appear and to edit letters for brevity and clarity.

B. Article Review Process

The ERB reviews and ranks articles submitted for publication. This is done as a blind review—no author information is provided to the reviewers. Majority opinion of the ERB determines whether an article is accepted for publication. When fewer than eight members evaluate a given article, ES adjusts scores accordingly. ERB ranks papers on a scale of 0 to 4 and ES uses the following point totals as a working guideline for determining the publication status of an article:

16 points and below is rejected;
17 and above is conditional acceptance.

Regardless of status, ES compiles and shares ERB comments with authors as guidelines for revising the article.

ERB members should return all reviews to the ES within the period specified on evaluation forms. Serious delinquencies will be called to the ERB chair's attention for follow‑up.

Reprints from other journals deemed of interest to PS readers may be sent by ES to the ERB for consideration for reprinting if material is of significance and may not have been seen by the majority of PS readers. Before reprinting in PS, both the author and original publisher must be contacted for permission to reprint. Reprints will be published on a limited basis.

The ERB may also appoint/assign/solicit guest editors to develop/solicit articles for
themed issues.


ERB determines ASSE’s Professional Paper Award winners by using the manuscript review process. This process is conducted so that final award winners are forwarded to CoPD by March 1.

To be eligible for an award, the author and any co-authors of the article must be ASSE members at the time of publication. The top 10% (based on evaluation point totals) of eligible papers (published during the calendar year) are returned to the ERB for rank ordering. ES compiles the ratings, identifies the top three articles and communicates that information to the Council on Professional Development (CoPD), the ERB and other constituent groups. In the case of ties, CoPD will make the final determination.

First-place winner receives $500; second place $400; third place $300. Each winner also receives a commemorative plaque that is presented during ASSE’s annual House of Delegates meeting.

ERB also has the option of awarding a Student Paper Award in partnership with the ASSE Foundation. This competition is offered annually, with the author of the top-rated article receiving registration to the PDC and a travel stipend for the conference. Eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Students must be members of ASSE.
  • Papers must address a topic in the occupational safety and health, industrial hygiene, environmental or other related field.
  • Paper must be written by a student or students currently enrolled at the junior/senior level in an undergraduate  degree program
  • The student(s) should have less than 3 years practical experience working in a field related to occupational safety, health, industrial hygiene and/or environmental or other related endeavor. 
  • No faculty coauthors.

The ERB reserves the right to not present the award based on the quality of submissions.


The ERB shall be composed of up to eight members. The VP-PD shall be a non-voting ex‑officio member. The VP-PD shall choose a chair from among the members of the ERB. The chair may appoint a vice chair to conduct any meeting.

The VP-PD will appoint members to the ERB for three-year terms each. Terms shall be staggered so that one‑third of the members' terms shall expire each June 30. An ERB member may be considered for reappointment at the end of each three-year term.

An ERB member may, regardless of his/her unexpired term, be removed by the chair with concurrence of the VP‑PD, and/or by the VP‑PD for failure to participate in two meetings during a year and/or the unexpired term consistent with the other requirements for ERB membership, continued failure to reply to correspondence or return evaluations. A replacement for this member shall be appointed by the VP‑PD.


The ERB shall meet once per year and not more than three times per year for ongoing guidance of journal publication. Conference calls may be used in lieu of or as an addition to a meeting(s) of the ERB. 

A quorum shall include at least four ERB members. A member of the Society staff should attend each meeting.


Permanent journal changes may be recommended by the ERB to the CoPD and Board of Directors for approval that is consistent with the funds available and the amount of advertising. ES will adjust the size of any individual issue based on editorial content and the amount of advertising.


All advertising is subject to publisher’s approval. ASSE reserves the right to reject advertising not in keeping with the journal’s standards.

Further policies are specified in the media planner and journal as needed.

Approved By/Date:

Editorial Review Board  02/11
Board of Directors 02/22/2014

Replaces Edition Dated: Editorial Board 04/08

Next Revision Due: 02/17


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