FASEB Joins Society Publishers to Recommend Diversity Initiatives for PublicationsTuesday, July 11, 2023
FASEB recently co-authored a report to provide guidance to society publishers on how to address diversity and inclusivity matters within their journal programs. Titled Recommendations for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiatives for Society Publishers, the report was published by the Society Publishers’ Coalition, of which FASEB is a member. Darla P. Henderson, PhD, FASEB Director of Open Science and Research Integrity and Director of Publications, represented FASEB and was among the report’s co-authors.
FASEB’s participation as a co-author was a key step forward in its pursuit of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusivity goals, which include new efforts on a path to a more inclusive and diverse culture within its journals publishing processes.
Henderson notes, “Publishers and scholarly societies, much like our broader society, have failed to foster an environment that is equitable, diverse, and inclusive. Meaningful actions are long overdue. This environment has had negative consequences first and foremost on the individuals impacted and publishers at scholarly societies have a strong moral imperative to address this injustice. We must ensure the end-to-end process of advancing new research findings is fair and inclusive, and, at the same time, we must also take bold steps towards making science more open to all.”
“We were delighted to participate along with a working group from the Society Publishers Coalition in crafting the recommendations and our engagement has prompted further reflection on our own processes and policies that we will report on later this year. We hope this guidance proves a catalyst for fellow society publishers to begin a reflective process that leads to actions and much-needed change,” says Henderson.
The recommendations in this guidance document are grouped into the following categories to support equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI):
• Policies and Statements—Considerations include policies on name changes, use of inclusive language, helicopter research, and ethics dumping. The report includes several EDI statements for society publishers and their journals, as well as statements for submitted research.
• Training, Education, and Awareness—Tactics to show support for authors, including those from historically excluded communities, include author/reviewer mentoring, amplifying historically excluded voices through journal awards programs and other types of recognition, and publishing a regularly recurring EDI column.
• Peer Review—Suggestions include eliminating implicit and unconscious bias by, for example, separating an author’s biographical details and personal information from the article content.
• Processes—The guidance notes that collection of demographic data and audit of internal processes will be important to measure progress. Data can also help stop the “guessing” of the current status of representation.
• People—The guidance also notes that editorial boards should be diverse in both people and subjects of their research to ensure the fairness and future health of scholarship.
• Open Scholarship—Suggestions include working toward research that is more transparent, inclusive, and accessible.
It should be noted that the report is an opinion piece representing the informed views of the authors and should not be considered a definitive guide, but rather a set of suggestions to galvanize wider change.
For more information on FASEB Publications and its journals publishing processes, view its positions on open science, diversity and inclusion, and ethics.