Best Practices Evaluation Competition


In keeping with our conference theme of "healthy and safe work through research, practice, and partnerships," we are especially interested in hearing about the translation of research to practice as exemplified by workplace programs, policies, practices, case experiences, and other efforts to prevent stress in today's workplace.

The purpose of the competition is to recognize outstanding evaluations of “best practices” that partner researchers with industry and labor to prevent occupational injuries and illnesses, and to promote safety and health at work.

Best Practices

The evaluation may be of any type of “best practice” in a program, intervention, study, or other activity relevant to Occupational Health Psychology, from a simple change in work organization at a single worksite to: 1) a comprehensive re-organization of the work processes, 2) a program of OSH training, or 3) policies or regulations applied throughout a corporation, industry, state, or nation, such as an OSHA standard. Please refer to the conference topic list to see the full range of eligible topics in Occupational Health Psychology.


All submissions to Work, Stress, and Health 2008, regarding examples of best practices that complete the scientific peer review process and are accepted for the meeting are eligible to enter the best practices evaluation competition.

Important note: Former members of the NORA Intervention Effectiveness Research team, current members of the Work, Stress, and Health 2008 conference planning team, and the three winners of the 2006 intervention evaluation competition may not be authors or consultants on papers considered in the competition.


Three finalists will be identified prior to the conference and one of the three papers will be selected as the competition winner. The presenting authors for all three finalist papers will be asked to describe their findings in a special session at the conference. All competition participants are encouraged to submit their papers to the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. Submissions to JOHP are separate from this competition and will undergo the normal journal review.

Evaluation Competition Criteria

Manuscripts will be scored on how comprehensively the best practices are described and the results are reported. The scoring criteria emphasize the quality of the evaluation methodology used to assess the effectiveness of the best practices. The specific topic areas of the best practices are not scored. All of the following criteria will be considered in the review of papers for the competition. However, it is neither anticipated nor required that any single paper will address every criterion:

I. Description of the need for the best practices, including:

a) the health and safety problems addressed, and

b) the injury and illness consequences for workers.

Important note: severity of the problem is not a scoring criterion; this prevents a best practice to prevent fatalities from displacing a good evaluation of a comprehensive health promotion program.

II. Description of the best practices in the workplace, including:

a) the basic descriptive information regarding the practices and the context in which they are implemented, including any study objectives or hypotheses,

b) the organizational level(s) of workplaces included in the best practices,

c) the process of development of the practices, program, or intervention, including: participation of workers and management and of the research/evaluation team in developing the practices, and

d) innovative approaches and noteworthy methods of addressing a problem.

III. Evaluation study design and methods, i.e. the plan for implementing the best practices and for the evaluation of this implementation. This section includes:

a) the overall quality of the research design,

b) ethical considerations,

c) population, sample, recruiting participants, assignment to groups, and estimates of power,

d) measurements (both quantitative and qualitative), and

e) a plan to permit process/efficacy evaluation results to modify the best practices program or intervention.

IV. Evaluation study results and analysis, including

a) the quality and comprehensiveness of the results, and

b) the quality of the results with respect to the overall findings and conclusions.

Important note: negative results, null results, and significant results may all be reported. The results will be evaluated for clarity, comprehensiveness, and degree of support for the overall findings. In short, significant results are not a prerequisite for this competition.

V. Implications of the evaluation results for occupational health psychology, including:

a) placing this study into the broader context of occupational health psychology,

b) limitations,

c) recommendations for improvements to the best practices,

d) recommendations for improved evaluation studies, and

e) new research questions.

Competition Procedures and Timeline

Electronic submissions are preferred, but not required.

August 31, 2007

Submit 600-800 word abstract along with the proposal cover sheet and other required materials to the conference coordinator at APA. Check the box for the Best Practices Evaluation Competition on your cover sheet. Include one extra copy of the abstract if submitting in print form. Your abstract will remain confidential; it will be used to assign reviewers for the competition. Complete and submit the Best Practices Evaluation Competition Statement (below).

Aug. 31 – Oct. 15

Complete and submit your manuscript describing the best practices evaluation. (Refer to the competition criteria, above, for guidance.) Every effort will be made to provide quick feedback on abstracts that have been designated for this competition. However, please DO NOT WAIT to hear from APA to begin preparing your manuscript for this competition. (Acceptance of your abstract is required to be included in the competition; however, the timing is too close to delay preparing your manuscript until after you hear from APA.)

Note : There is no required minimum or maximum length for manuscripts for this competition. The competition criteria attempt to capture the features of an evaluation study that are most important and desirable, without respect to the specific topic of the best practices. Extremely short submissions, e.g. 2-5 pages, are likely to lose points simply because they are too short to address all the relevant criteria. Authors planning to submit manuscripts substantially longer than a typical journal article or book chapter are asked to contact the best practices evaluation competition coordinator, so that adjustments can be made in the number of papers assigned to each reviewer. This competition encourages students to submit theses and dissertations describing evaluations of best practices.

October 15, 2007

Deadline to submit a draft of the manuscript describing the best practices evaluation. Electronic submissions are preferred. Printed copies will also be accepted if they are postmarked no later than October 15, 2007, and are sent via Air or Express Mail. If submitting in printed form, please include four copies of the manuscript. Send your manuscript to the conference coordinator at APA.

Oct. 15 – Dec. 17

Best Practices Evaluation Competition peer review (see the competition criteria, above). Manuscripts will be held in confidence. January, 2008 Notification of finalists. Finalists will present in a special session at the Work, Stress, and Health 2008 conference. All other competition participants will be placed in sessions appropriate to their topic areas. Detailed feedback will be provided to all competition participants.

All participants are encouraged to submit their manuscripts to the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. Submissions to JOHP are separate from this competition and will undergo the normal journal review.