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ACS Publications takes steps to combat racism in chemistry publishing

Initial actions will include training all ACS editors on bias in peer review

by Linda Wang
June 22, 2020

Image of the first page of the editorial on combatting racism in chemistry publishing. Racism bias diversity inclusion ACS Publications
Credit: ACS Publications
The editorial on confronting racism in chemistry journals.

The American Chemical Society Publications Division is taking steps to confront racism in chemistry publishing. Among its initial actions will be:

• Providing training for all ACS editors to recognize and interrupt bias in peer review

• Appointing an ombudsperson to serve as a liaison between editors and the community

• Developing an actionable diversity plan for each ACS journal

• Gathering and making public baseline statistics on diversity within ACS journals—encompassing editors, advisors, reviewers, and authors—and annually reporting on progress

• Including diversity of journal contributors as an explicit measurement of editor-in-chief performance

These steps are outlined in an editorial in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, signed by all of its editors-in-chief and deputy editors.

“There is no place for discrimination in science, but it’s sadly a reality that too many of our readers, authors, and fellow researchers face daily,” says Sarah Tegen, senior vice president of ACS Publications. “The underrepresentation of Black scientists in chemistry shows us how overdue we are for change, and we aim to use our platform to advocate for reform.”

“By challenging our own beliefs and actions, and through the changes we are making at ACS Publications, we will strive to build a better scientific community, and ultimately a better world,” says James Milne, president of ACS Publications.


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