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Scientific Journals Committed to Diversity, but Lack of Data



Publishing articles in top journals is an important academic currency. But this process is confusing, often revolving around personal connections between journal editors and researchers with whom they attract and receive manuscripts.

“Science is widely publicized as a financial regime: a larger, data-driven business in which the best jobs and the best emerge first,” said Dr. Extavour. In fact, she adds, the lack of universal, objective standards, and “the access that authors have to edit is change.”

To democratize this process, editors and reviewers need to balance the playing field, in part by reflecting the diversity that magazines think they are looking for, says Dr. Kamath. “People think this is an aesthetic or a surface issue,”

; she said. “But in reality, the nature of your scholarship will change if you value diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Responding to The Times, several organizations, including AAAS, Cell Press, Lancet and PLoS, pointed out ongoing efforts to monitor and promote equal gender representation in science. Among the journals that track these trends, many have hired women in leadership and editorial positions. But where reported, male-identified authors and reviewers outnumber their female peers – and not all organizations offer a non-binary option. (The publication rate among women has also decreased since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.)

Other journals mainly questioned.

Jim Michalski, a senior public information officer at JAMA, did not provide data on company employees, instead inviting The Times via email to “visit our websites and rate the diversity of our website. in all aspects of the leadership of each JAMA Magazine, including the Chief Editors, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Board, etc. ”

After evaluating some of the publishers’ written responses to The Times, Dr. Crystal Wiley Cené, a physician and health equity researcher at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, said, “I Really wondered if I would resubmit my work there. “

Barriers to people of color in academia – commonly known as ivory towers – arise early and often. Dr. Muñoz said: “There is a false story that in order to achieve diversity we have to compromise with excellence.


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