Cell Press, a leading publisher of scientific research, has reached a significant milestone by incorporating inclusion and diversity statements in over 40% of its published research articles. This achievement marks a substantial increase from the initial implementation of these statements, demonstrating the commitment of both authors and the publisher to promote inclusivity in scientific research.
In January 2021, Cell Press introduced an opportunity for author teams publishing their primary research articles to share information related to inclusion and diversity as part of the acceptance stage. Authors were also given the option to compile an inclusion and diversity statement to be included near the acknowledgments section of their published paper. The response to this initiative was positive, with 10% of author teams initially participating.
However, to enhance the program's inclusivity and reduce submission complexity, Cell Press made several improvements to the submission process in September 2022. These changes included the addition of a statement allowing authors to self-identify as a gender minority in their research field, the introduction of "n/a" and "prefer not to disclose" options for authors to select the information they wish to include with their statements, and the option for authors to add the statement "We support inclusive, diverse, and equitable conduct of research" if they prefer not to use the specific statements provided.
Since the updated submission process was introduced, Cell Press has observed a four-fold increase in the number of authors choosing to include an inclusion and diversity statement in their papers. The prevalence of these statements varies by journal and discipline.
Furthermore, there has been a notable increase in research teams affirming the presence of individuals from underrepresented groups in their papers. This trend indicates potential growth in the diversity of the author pool at Cell Press. Key findings from this trend include authors from underrepresented ethnic minorities, with an increase from 11.4% to 18.3% of authors self-identifying as part of an underrepresented ethnic minority in science. Authors from the LGBTQ+ community have also seen an increase, rising from 6% to 7.9% of authors self-identifying as members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Additionally, there has been a rise in authors with disabilities, with an increase from 1.6% to 3.3% of authors self-identifying as individuals living with a disability. Authors receiving support from programs aimed at increasing minority representation in science have increased from 3.6% to 5.8%. Furthermore, there has been an increase in author groups actively working to promote gender balance in reference lists, rising from 8.3% to 20.2%. Lastly, author lists including contributors from the location where the research was conducted, when applicable, have seen an increase from 12.5% to 25.3%.
The inclusion and diversity initiative at Cell Press aligns with the publisher's broader efforts to enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion in the fields of publishing, research, and STEM. The initiative provides authors with an opportunity to signal their commitment to these principles while allowing Cell Press to assess where further efforts are needed.
Cell Press remains committed to evolving the project based on community feedback, including exploring methods for co-authors to self-identify and improving the user experience of the submission form.Click here to read the original press release.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility (DEIA)
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