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.
Share your ideas on how ACS can improve its journals to be more diverse and inclusive at https://axial.acs.org/2020/06/19/editorial-feedback.