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We are committed to positive change: new voluntary demographic disclosure to ensure diversity and inclusion in Rockefeller University Press (RUP) journals

The Journal of Cell Biology (JCB), Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), and Journal of General Physiology (JGP) are beginning to collect voluntary self-disclosure of demographic information by authors, reviewers, and editors. The information on gender and race/ethnicity will be used for demographic statistical reporting. With the aggregated data, RUP journals will establish a baseline that will help identify gaps and areas that require significant attention, and inform efforts to improve the gender, race, and ethnicity balance in each journal’s pool of reviewers, editorial board appointments, and authors invited to publish reviews, perspectives, and commentary articles. Furthermore, collection of demographic data will allow RUP editors to track any potential inequity or bias in the editorial process.

The voluntary survey follows steps the journals have taken in recent years to improve overall representation within the editorial boards. JCB has increased the number of women on its 110-member Editorial Board to 37%. In addition, 3 of 10 senior academic editors are women, as is the editor-in-chief. JEM has increased the number of women on its 119-member Editorial Advisory Board to 29%, and its consulting biostatistical editor and 6 of 14 academic editors are women. JGP has increased the number of women on its 143-member Editorial Advisory Board to 37%, and 2 of 6 associate editors are women. 

In line with this initiative, RUP has joined the Royal Society of Chemistry and 23 publishing organizations who have signed a joint commitment for action on inclusion and diversity in publishing. The group’s shared goals are to enable diversity data to be self-reported by members of our community and use anonymized data to uncover subject-specific diversity baselines and set minimum targets to achieve appropriate and inclusive representation of authors, reviewers, and editorial decision-makers. The group of publishers will work together in driving positive change and set a new standard to ensure a more inclusive and diverse culture within scholarly publishing.

The journals will be announcing more initiatives to improve equity to come. If you have general suggestions or comments, the editors invite your feedback at rupress@rockefeller.edu.

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