PEPFAR Manuscript Clearance SOP


PEPFAR Manuscript Clearance Process – May 22, 2017


All written material intended for publication as part of a federal employee's official duties OR where the source of the written material is derived from resources provided by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) must undergo PEPFAR Publication Clearance prior to submission. Applicable written materials include research articles, book chapters, and other permanent products intended for public consumption including “letters to the Editor.” Not applicable to this process are internal reports, conference abstracts, slide sets, presentations, and talking points. The PEPFAR publication clearance process is intended to provide a streamlined, administrative process for ensuring that materials reflect PEPFAR priorities, undergo technical and ethical review by publishers, and are added to a tracking database for written products. Following are the roles and responsibilities, review processes, and instructions for submitting written material for clearance.

Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities for persons involved in the clearance process are outlined below.

Submitter. The lead or PEPFAR-affiliated author is responsible for submitting written material for review using the PEPFAR Manuscript Clearance Form. The submitter will serve as the contact person for the material and receive notifications about the status of the clearance request.

Office of Research & Science. The ORS Director will monitor and track written materials submitted for clearance and identify within one week of receipt any appropriate S/GAC section staff to provide a technical review, as needed.

Submission Coordinator. The ORS Program Support Officer will manage the review process, track manuscripts assigned to reviewers, and serve as the clearance contact person. For questions or comments, please email

Ad Hoc PEPFAR Technical Reviewers. Members of the SGAC community may be asked to volunteer on an ad hoc basis to serve as reviewers, particularly when subject matter expertise is necessary to inform clearance recommendations to the Ambassador. These ad hoc reviewers will be asked to complete their reviews within one week.

Final Approval by the Ambassador or designee. Final approval for publication on behalf of PEPFAR rests with the Ambassador or her/his designee. ORS staff will facilitate this approval process and alert submitters as soon as possible when clearance is secured.


To submit written material for PEPFAR Publication Clearance, the submitting author must complete the PEPFAR Clearance Form, and submits the corresponding written material in MS-Word to For tracking purposes, a new request is needed for each initial or revised submission.

Approval Process and Estimated Timeline:

Publication Clearance is expect to take two - three weeks, as depicted below:

  • Week 0: Submitter completes PEPFAR Manuscript Clearance Form, attaches the relevant written material, and emails them to ORS pre-screens the submissions and assigns them to SGAC ad hoc reviewers within 2 working days.
  • Week 1: Ad hoc reviewers acknowledge receipt and proceed to review materials. Completed review forms and comments to the ORS submission coordinator will be returned within 5 working days using the online Reviewer Form.
  • Week 2 - 3: ORS provides a clearance recommendation to the Ambassador, who returns a clearance decision by end of week 2 or 3.

In cases where submitted materials require modifications, clearance for resubmissions will be expedited to preserve the original timeline to the extent possible.