Diversity and inclusion in research publishing
It is widely recognised that teams and organisations in all sectors of society perform better and make better decisions when they embrace diversity and inclusion in their culture and, particularly, among their leadership. Diversity refers to having a wide range of human differences in the composition of a team. Inclusion, inclusivity, or inclusiveness refers to ensuring that all team members feel engaged and their contributions and perspectives are valued. Efforts to actively promote both diversity and inclusion need to be ongoing, given that demographics and team composition continuously change with time.
Within the scholarly publishing industry, diversity and inclusion principles and practices apply to authors, peer reviewers, editorial boards, and academic and professional societies, as well as editorial and publishing personnel.
Among recent initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in research publishing are the publication of the Diversity and Inclusion Manifesto for Scholarly Publishing by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers  and the establishment of the Coalition for Diversity & Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC) .
Peer Review Week 2018 highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusion in increasing the quality, fairness, and integrity of academic peer review. In an online survey conducted to mark the event, COPE found that 71% of 384 respondents cited that their employer or publication values diverse involvement and opinions in its peer review process. However, only 25% were aware of a diversity policy for recruiting members of their peer reviewer pool, and only 13% said there is in-house training to promote diversity and inclusion in peer review .
COPE is keen to promote diversity and inclusion in not only peer review but also scholarly publishing in general, by facilitating dialogue and developing resources for key stakeholders in the publishing landscape.
For example, the upcoming COPE North American seminar is themed “Challenges and solutions: issues of inclusivity and diversity in the humanities and social sciences” . And COPE is currently conducting a trial membership programme with several research institutions. Indeed, research institutions are important stakeholders in the research publishing ecosystem, not least because they train researchers to become the next generation of scholarly authors, peer reviewers, editors, and leaders of scholarly societies.
COPE would now like to develop a discussion document on diversity and inclusion in research publishing that is relevant to all stakeholders, and this will be the discussion topic at the start of the next COPE Forum.
- How can COPE help members (and non-members) to encourage diversity and inclusion?
- Should and how can diversity and inclusion be incorporated into COPE’s Core Practices?
- How can diversity and inclusion be improved for different communities involved in research publishing?
- What challenges are there (or may arise) and how could they be overcome?
1. Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers. Diversity and Inclusion Manifesto for Scholarly Publishing. https://diversitymanifesto.wordpress.com/
2. Coalition for Diversity & Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC). https://c4disc.org/principles/
3. COPE. Diversity in Peer Review: Survey Results. https://publicationethics.org/news/diversity-peer-review-survey-results
4. COPE North American Seminar, 3 May 2019. Registration site. https://publicationethics.org/cope-north-american-seminar-2019
This will be discussed at the start of the next COPE Forum on Monday 11 February 2019. Please do leave any comments below, whether or not you are planning on joining the meeting
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