One of the ways AIP Publishing progresses towards greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is by collaborating with publishers across the industry. Many of our teams actively participate in industry initiatives, notably the RSC’s Joint Commitment for Action on Inclusion and Diversity in Publishing and the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC). AIP Publishing’s DEI initiatives over the past two years — including our recent demographic benchmarking report — have been influenced by these groups.
The Joint Commitment for Action on Inclusion and Diversity in Publishing
AIP Publishing joined the RSC’s Joint Commitment in July 2021. Since launching in 2020, one area the Joint Commitment has initiated extensive work on is demographic data collection — a crucial question many publishers are grappling with. We joined the Diversity Data Collection Questions subgroup, which explored the right format for questions and responses. Subgroup members participated in discussions and feedback with Elsevier and a subject matter expert to formulate and iterate on the format of these questions. More information on the process is available here.
We also joined the Diversity Data Collection Systems subgroup that focused on the best practices related to collecting, storing and reporting diversity data and compliance with privacy regulations, like GDPR. Being part of the Joint Commitment allows for more direct collaboration with various platform vendors, including EJ Press, the vendor for AIP Publishing’s submission platform. Instead of navigating these complex issues alone, we leverage the collective knowledge and experience across technology partners and ensure they understand DEI is a shared priority across their publisher clients. These discussions have been invaluable as we prepare to launch a demographics data collection pilot with two AIP Publishing journals.
The Joint Commitment has fostered a sense of unity and cooperation among publishers, with triennial meetings and regular subgroup calls enabling participants to showcase learning, ask questions, and provide feedback. Such collaboration is rare in our industry — but by working together, we can promote best practices, share successes, and achieve impact. This is particularly important to smaller publishers, who may lack the resources for a dedicated DEI team. The Joint Commitment provides resources such as minimum standards, discussions and guidance on author name change policy and code of conduct, and formatted demographic questions, making it easier to initiate and maintain DEI efforts.
Moreover, the Joint Commitment has provided the tools to create common ground for publishers. Any feedback from the community — and our response to that feedback — can be cohesive, promoting more efficient change that supports the researchers.
Beyond the Joint Commitment, AIP Publishing participates in C4DISC, is a signatory to the UN Sustainable Development Goals SDG Publishers Compact, is a member of the Physics and Astronomy SEA Change Committee (P/A SEA Change), and participated in The National Laboratories Name Change Initiative For Published Research Outputs.
These initiatives each provide a forum to share insights and learning across our industry. Such discussion is key to supporting DEI, and we’re proud to be involved, both as a contributor and a beneficiary. We remain committed to creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive scientific publishing community. Together, multiple publishers can build momentum, align on best practices, and share learnings across organizations large and small.