“While these issues don’t just apply to the chemical sciences, as an organisation there is absolutely no point telling others they need to change unless you’re willing to do so yourself. In analysing our journal peer review processes, committing to increase female representation within the publication process and annually reporting on our progress toward gender equality, we are aiming to raise the bar.
“Our challenge to all those in the research ecosystem, from universities to research departments and private companies, is to follow our lead and take an objective look at themselves, as it’s going to take everyone working together to make a difference.”
The Royal Society of Chemistry has committed to:
- Increase transparency by annually publishing an analysis of authors, reviewers and editorial decision-makers by journal sub-discipline, and we are calling on other publishers to do the same
- More closely reflect the research community by recruiting and training reviewers, editorial board members and associate editors to reflect the current gender balance of the research community: our target is at least 36% women by 2022
- Empower and innovate by providing new training and resources for editors to eliminate bias covering submission to publication. We will also investigate new publishing models, such as double blind review and open peer review
- Encourage intervention by partnering with other organisations and leading the development of a new Inclusion and Diversity Framework for Action to set the standard for driving change throughout the academic publishing industry
Dr Wilson concludes: “The quality of the science will always remain the main criterion for publication, but in publishing our action plan, we are determined to ensure the chemical science community fairly rewards and retains a more diverse range of voices. We strongly believe this will lead to better science – and by extension this will benefit wider society as a whole.”
You can read the report here.