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Diversity & Inclusion: An ongoing commitment

IOP Publishing is strongly committed to diversity and inclusion in academic publishing, and to ensuring our approach to peer review meets the highest ethical standards.  

We aim be genuine leaders in promoting diversity and inclusion in scientific publishing. Our goal is to achieve parity of opportunity for any physical science researcher to become an author, reviewer or editorial board member of our publications.  This work began in 2018, when we published a white paper – Diversity and Inclusion in Peer Review at IOP Publishing –  which provided us with a snapshot of how diverse and inclusive our publishing activities were at the time, and made a number of recommendations for improvement.

Since then we have appointed a Research Integrity & Inclusion Manager to lead this work, and taken a number of actions aimed at making us and our journals more inclusive. Our focus to date has been mostly on trying to improve gender and geographical diversity of our editorial stakeholders (authors, reviewers, board members), and developing inclusivity training for our staff. Some examples of the work we’ve done include:

  • The introduction of a gender-neutral title option on our submission and peer review systems
  • All publishing staff now attend compulsory unconscious bias training
  • Authors are now asked to consider diversity when suggesting potential peer reviewers for their work
  • Reviewers are asked to consider diversity when suggesting alternative reviewers if they are unable to accept our invitation
  • Editorial boards are now presented with the journal’s D&I statistics on a regular basis
  • In December 2019 we started asking contributors to tell us how they self-identify their gender, to improve the accuracy of our data
  • Every journal now has targets to diversify their reviewer pools
  • Every journal now has targets to diversity their editorial boards
  • Authors are encouraged to use gender-neutral language in their submissions
  • Our reviewer guidelines now include information on how to combat implicit bias
  • A new code of conduct has been introduced for board members, which sets out our expectations relating to inclusivity and respect for all
  • Our ethical policy now includes a section on respect for others
  • We are proud members of the joint-publisher working group on inclusivity

 

There is plenty of work still to do. We want to set an example to others and provide a balanced and progressive approach to diversity and inclusion in publishing – making it clear to our communities the opportunities available to them, and maintaining the dialogue between us. We want our authorship, reviewership and editorial board membership to develop beyond simply mirroring the current researcher population, and drive a progressive agenda to bring tangible changes in building an inclusive publishing community. If you’re interested in talking to us about this work, please get in touch.