The future of scholarly communications will be positively impacted by attracting and retaining a pool of highly talented and creative professionals from diverse and/or historically excluded backgrounds who possess a wide range of skill sets and viewpoints.
Increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in scholarly communications is a moral imperative. In addition, research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogeneous teams.1 Realizing diverse teams ensures that individuals from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address the issues facing our profession. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse scholarly publishing ecosystem, including: fostering innovation and problem solving; promoting changes in society; contributing to robust learning environments, worker satisfaction, increased sales potential, and financial performance; improving the quality of market solutions and responsiveness to market needs.2,3,4,5 Importantly, it’s also the right thing to do.
Diverse teams enable us to better serve the increasingly diverse research and academic communities that are both the creators and consumers of scholarly publications. These benefits can be realized when we ensure diversity in all roles and levels (particularly in organizational leadership) within the scholarly communication landscape, including all staff, volunteers, and audiences.
To ensure sustainability, equity, growth, access, discussion and debate, our industry must commit to long-term efforts to curb the deeply ingrained patterns of exclusion and inequities in our practices, policies, and frameworks.6,7
Accessibility enables everyone—whether or not they have a disability— to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services in an equally integrated and equally effective manner. Organizations shall take appropriate measures to ensure access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to all.
Diversity refers to the composition of a group of people from any number of demographic backgrounds: identities (innate and selected); the collective strength of their experiences, beliefs, values, skills, and perspectives; and the historical and ongoing ways in which these groups have been affected by structures of power. The variability in a diverse group is apparent in the characteristics we see and hear, as well as through behaviors and expressions that we encounter and experience in our workplaces and organizations. Diverse organizations are not by default inclusive.
Equity ensures that all individuals are provided the resources and support they need to access opportunities available to their peers.
Inclusion is the act of establishing philosophies, policies, practices, and procedures to ensure equitable access to opportunities and resources that support individuals in contributing to an organization’s success. Through encouraging awareness of power structures, creating opportunities for those who have historically been excluded, and attempting to decenter majority culture, inclusion creates the environment and infrastructure in which diversity within organizations can exist and thrive. Inclusive organizations are by definition committed to achieving a sense of belonging for everyone at all levels.
In principle and in practice, collectively, C4DISC member and partner organizations value and seek accessibility, diversity, and equitable and inclusive practices within the scholarly communications ecosystem. Our goal is to promote involvement, innovation, and expanded access to leadership opportunities that maximize engagement across identity groups and professional levels. Identity groups include and are not limited to:
- citizenship status
- family and other caring responsibilities
- gender and gender identity
- genetic information
- geographic location
- military/veteran status
- nationality/national origin or tribal membership
- political beliefs
- pregnancy/parental status
- professional career/education level
- religion/belief/value system
- sexual orientation
- socio-economic background/social class
Collectively we will provide leadership and commit time and resources to accomplish these objectives, while serving as a model to our members and to individuals and organizations engaged in ensuring accessibility, diversity, and equitable and inclusive practices.
We are committed to:
- eliminating barriers to participation, extending equitable opportunities across all stakeholders, and ensuring that our practices and policies promote equitable treatment and do not allow, condone, or result in discrimination;
- creating and maintaining an environment that respects diverse traditions, heritages, and experiences;
- promoting diversity in all staff, volunteers, and audiences, including full participation in programs, policy formulation, and decision-making;
- raising awareness about career opportunities in our industry to groups who are currently underrepresented in the workforce;
- supporting our community in achieving diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility within their organizations.
- Rock D., Grant M., and Grey, J. (September 2016) Diverse Teams Feel Less Comfortable — and That’s Why They Perform, Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2016/09/diverse-teams-feel-less-comfortable-and-thats-why-they-perform-better or this article from Dr. Katherine Phillips: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-diversity-makes-us-smarter/
- Hunt, V., Layton, D. and Prince, S. (2015, January) Why diversity matters. Mckinsey Company. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/why-diversity-matters
- Galinsky AD, Todd AR, Homan AC, et al. Maximizing the Gains and Minimizing the Pains of Diversity: A Policy Perspective. Perspectives on Psychological Science. 2015;10(6):742-748. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691615598513
- Saxena, A. (2014) Workforce Diversity: A Key to Improve Productivity. Procedia Economics and Finance. Volume 11:76-85, https://doi.org/10.1016/S2212-5671(14)00178-6
- Hewlett, S.A., Marshall, M. and Sherbin, L. (December 2013) How Diversity can drive innovation. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2013/12/how-diversity-can-drive-innovation
- Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity. Notice Number: NOT-OD-20-031. Retrieved from https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-20-031.html
- Greco, A.N., Wharton, R.M. and Brand, A. (2016), Demographics of scholarly publishing and communication professionals. Learned Publishing, 29: 97-101. https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1017
Updated October 2021