Publishers responsible for tens of thousands of peer-reviewed journals and books have signed an agreement to take a proactive stance against bias, as they commit to working together to better reflect the diversity of their communities and to remove barriers for under-represented groups.
The joint statement will impact scholarly publishing on a global scale, having been initiated by the Royal Society of Chemistry and signed by the American Chemical Society (ACS), BMJ, Cambridge University Press, the Company of Biologists, Emerald Publishing, Elsevier, Hindawi, IOP Publishing, Oxford University Press and the Royal Society.
The group have also been engaging with further publishers to form a working group to collaborate on further actions to improve inclusion and diversity in publishing.
Agreement on the joint declaration was reached in a workshop organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), after it shared its pioneering Framework for Action in Scientific Publishing – an action-focussed “roadmap” to minimise exclusion and bias in its publications, also released publicly this week.
Dr Emma Wilson, Director of Publishing at RSC, said: “Biases exists in research publishing, and acknowledging this is an important step for the research community at large. Working in silos and individually committing to scrutinise our processes will only get us so far – it is the agreement to collectively address these issues which we believe is key in levelling the playing field across research publishing.