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More big-name publishers sign up to diversity pledge

Image: Rawpixel, via Shutterstock

More than 7,000 journals represented in effort to set minimum targets for representation in publishing

Eight more academic publishers have joined an initial 11 in pledging to grapple with bias and discrimination in the field.

The move is meant to address concerns that women and non-white authors have been disadvantaged by traditional publishing practices. On 9 July, publishers including Sage, eLife and Wiley announced they would join the effort—bringing the total number of journals represented to more than 7,000.

“We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of our colleagues across research publishing to join us in our commitment to tackling bias and discrimination in research,” said Emma Wilson, director of publishing at the Royal Society of Chemistry, an initiator of the pledge and one of the original 11 signatories in late June.

The publishers, which also include Elsevier, the BMJ group, the UK’s Royal Society and the American Chemical Society, have committed to set minimum targets for representation of authors, reviewers and editorial decision-makers. They will use anonymised data to assess diversity, develop new resources on diversity and create a working group to share best practices and monitor progress.