The surge of FOAM-related talks just released into the ether from SMACC has led me to re-consider the need for a FOAM charter.
This is how it might work.
Those who sign up can use a logo on their website indicating that they adhere to the principles and conditions for the ethical use and creation of FOAM.
These conditions might include the following:
- use of a creative commons licence that allows non-commercial sharing, with attribution, of resources and allows others to modify the resources (again with attribution) for educational purposes
- use of references, wherever possible, to the published scientific literature and to other FOAM — thus allowing others to establish the veracity of FOAM claims and maintain a degree of scholarship and ensure the credibility of FOAM
- recognition that we are all wrong sometimes, and that creators of FOAM will strive to make corrections as soon as possible, or where there are differences of opinion seek to show, or link to, other perspectives
- maintain medical professionalism (including patient confidentiality and attention to issues of consent where appropriate) … and be nice!
- the avoidance of anonymity so that FOAM creators are easily identifiable and are accountable for their actions
An important issue is what should happen if an allegation is made that a FOAM creator has breached the charter. It maybe that we need a committee (perhaps elected?) that screens potential members of the FOAM charter, or at least arbitrates on issues of conduct and has the power to remove the ‘FOAM Charter’ logo / membership from anyone who misuses it. This may require a substantial commitment from those involved.
Please share your thoughts on this idea, including what should be included in the conditions and how to make the logistics happen, in the comments below.
What do you mean you haven’t subscribed to the SMACC Podcast on iTunes yet?
Vive la FOAM!
Addendum 29th July 2013
This post has generated a large amount of discussion — I will aim to write a summary of the discussion in early September after letting it all percolate for a while… thanks for taking part!