Working Groups

The Steering Committee will create working groups to carry out C4DISC initiatives. Each working group will have an appointed member-liaison and a lead (or 2); individuals will be invited to join via a general call for volunteers. Working groups will be announced on our website and through our social media accounts.

Apply for a Working Group>>

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Current Working Groups

Now Recruiting Volunteers

Communications and Outreach

Lead(s): Mia Ricci, Wiley and Tricia Miller, Annual Reviews
Start Date: October 1, 2020 – Status: In Progress

***Currently looking for people with video editing, PR, and/or social media experience.

The communications and outreach working group will develop press releases, articles, social media posts, presentations, and more to let our community know about the work C4DISC is doing and to recruit additional members, partners, volunteers, and donors.

Members: Mia Ricci, Megan Seyler, Rima Isaifan, Nadia Dawood, Tricia Miller, Laura Martin, Divya Nair, Lauren Collister, Bev Acreman, Alice Meadows, and Rebecca McLeod

In Progress

Toolkit for Disability Equity

Lead(s): Katy Alexander, Digital Science; Simon Holt, Elsevier; Sylvia Izzo Hunter, Inera; Erin Osborne Martin, Wiley

Start Date: May 18, 2021

Closing Date: June 30, 2021

To volunteer, please complete the Working Group Application at C4DISC and indicate you are interested in C4DISC Toolkit for Disability Equity in the “Working Group(s) Requested” field. Applications are requested by June 30, 2021.


We are looking to create a resource centre to help people with disabilities within scholarly communications thrive at work. This will help to harness the talents of people with disabilities so they (we) can fulfil our potential at work.

To do this, we need the help of the whole community – both those with a disability and those without. The toolkit will aim to engage, enable and empower both people with disabilities and allies to advocate for themselves and each other at work, so that we can create more disability-confident working environments throughout the scholarly communications industry.

Aim of the Toolkit

We believe that people with disabilities (PwD) make an important contribution to our industry, and we want to help to create an inclusive environment where PwD can thrive in an atmosphere of psychological safety. We believe PwD bring important skills to our industry – problem solving, adaptability, thinking differently – which help our organizations solve the business problems they face on a daily basis. The industry currently lacks a cohesive movement to harness the talents of people with disabilities – to provide resources, peer support and advice. The Toolkit for Disability Equity will hopefully provide a vehicle to fill that gap.

Why is this resource needed?
  • This issue affects a lot of people: 15% of the world’s population has some type of disability, and 80% of disabilities are invisible.
  • Many people don’t feel able to talk about their disability at work. Only 6.6% identified as having a disability in a recent Publishers Association survey, of whom only 33% were open about it at work.
  • The employment outcomes for people with disabilities are worse than for the rest of the population: the employment rate is 30% lower than the rest of the population in both the UK and the US.
Who is the Toolkit for?

We hope this resource will be helpful for several groups of people. These include, but are not exclusive to,

  • Individuals with a disability and those caring for a disabled person, to help them campaign for themselves and provide peer support.
  • Colleagues / allies, to equip them to have meaningful conversations about disability and to normalize these conversations in the workplace.
  • Organizations, to answer questions such as, What does good practice and creating an inclusive culture look like in this space? What unintentional gaps exist in our knowledge and employee offering?
What areas will we look to cover?

The Toolkit aims to focus on 3 main areas:

  • A resource centre pointing to information specific to different disability types – physical and neurological.
  • A focus on the lifecycle of the employee – recruitment, onboarding, development and agility through a company, emphasising how to create a supportive culture and linking to specific resources that will help people with different disabilities, highlighting case studies.
  • A way for people with disabilities working in Scholarly Communications to connect with one another.
What will the Toolkit look like?

This will be decided by the eventual working group, but our vision is for an online resource that will be easy to update, as this is an area that evolves quickly, with an emphasis on curating, categorizing, and organizing links to existing resources over creating new ones.

How can I help?

Many hands make light work, and we will need many people to do a little bit (and a few to do more than a little bit!) if we are going to make this work.

Initially, we are looking for a volunteer Project Manager. This is a leadership role. You will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the project, and to co-ordinate the other volunteers. Depending on who we get, this role could be one person or shared between two people. The Project Manager will co-ordinate the group’s activities and different workstreams, keep everybody on track, bring together the various activities and people, and lead the group meetings. Though the total number of hours will depend on the people filling this role, expect about 5 hours of work per week.

If we are able to recruit a volunteer Project Manager, we will be able to move ahead with the rest of the project. We will then be looking for people in the following categories:

  • Subject Matter Experts on as many different types of disability as possible – both to advise and to write sections:
  • Sensory disabilities
  • Neurodiversity
  • Chronic illness (e.g. chronic fatigue syndrome / chronic pain etc)
  • Mobility disabilities
  • Carers
  • Allies
  • HR / Policy Professionals who can advise on topics such as:
  • What is ‘best practice’ in this area?
  • What legal considerations are there?
  • What policies should we consider – what does ‘good’ look like?
  • Aiming to cover every stage of the employee lifecycle.
  • Particular advice needed on accessibility + employment / return to work policies.
  • Multimedia Professionals, including
  • Web designers + accessibility professionals
  • Video editors
  • Podcast makers
  • Researchers who can
  • Research specific data points and/or resources to add to the website
  • Marketing, Communications, and Advocacy Professionals who can
  • Help us get the word out and speak publicly about it.
  • Editorial Staff, including
  • Copyeditors
  • Proofreaders
  • First readers who will provide feedback on tone, content gaps, etc.

Inclusive Language and Image Guidelines for Scholarly Communications

Interim Lead(s): Brian E. Giblin, Wiley

Status: In Progress

The Inclusive Language and Image Guidelines Working Group will assess current practices across the industry and will then develop guidelines to help all authors, editors, and reviewers recognize the use of language and images that are inclusive and culturally sensitive. The guidelines will serve as a global tool and educational resource that can be used by individuals, institutions, and publishers. By addressing the various forms of conscious/unconscious bias and discrimination currently found in published research, the intent of this working group will be to set an industry standard that promotes proactive inclusive writing habits going forward.

Members: Closed

Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations
Lead(s): Jocelyn Dawson, Duke University Press and Damita Snow, American Society of Civil Engineers
Start Date: January 14, 2021- Status: In Progress

The Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations will provide tools for understanding institutionalized racism, broadening hiring and recruiting, working to correct bias, including historically marginalized perspectives in decision making, developing retention plans and a more inclusive pipeline, and creating affinity groups and mentorship programs.

Members: Closed

Antiracism Toolkit for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
Lead(s): Niccole Leilanionapae‘aina Coggins, University of Virginia Press and Kerry Webb, The University of Texas Press
Start Date: January 14, 2021 – Status: In Progress

The Antiracism Toolkit for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color will provide advice on safely navigating predominantly white spaces that may feel exclusionary, i.e., building mentorship relationships, expanding career paths, advocating for change, and self-care.

Members: Closed

Past Working Groups

No past working groups at this time.