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Editorial Snapshot: Publishers agree to increase equality

- G.A., Senior Editor

Although scientists work diligently to conduct research that accurately reflects natural phenomena, society is becoming increasingly aware of certain biases that can exert an influence on individuals and even social institutions. Consequently, attention is turning to ways in which the worlds of academic research and academic publishing may not be living up to the ideal of equality.

In 2019, The Royal Society of Chemistry published the results of an investigation into gender bias in the chemical sciences. Based on the results, the Society established a framework for action to improve inclusion and diversity.

In June 2020, the society published a ‘Joint commitment for action on inclusion and diversity in publishing’ to encourage other publishers to join in the effort to create a more inclusive and diverse culture in academic research. To date, 47 organizations responsible for more than 15,000 academic journals have signed the joint commitment.

The Royal Society of Chemistry realizes that improvements by a single organization are undermined by the large number of organizations that do not take the necessary steps to improve equality; therefore, the large number of publishers and journals that have joined this joint commitment in a relatively short period of time is a promising sign that real progress can be made.

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