ACS Partnership with National Laboratories on Transgender-Inclusive Name-Change Process for Published Papers - ACS Axial
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ACS Partnership with National Laboratories on Transgender-Inclusive Name-Change Process for Published Papers

ACS is delighted to be partnering with the U.S. National Laboratories as they implement their new name change policy, following the policy that ACS announced last year. The new policy will allow researchers who wish to change their names to more easily claim academic work from all stages of their careers. It specifically addresses the administrative and emotional difficulties some transgender researchers have experienced when requesting name changes associated with past academic work.

This policy streamlines these previously ad hoc processes and offers an official validation mechanism to all involved by enabling researchers to ask the National Laboratories to pursue name changes on their behalf directly with participating publishers. For researchers of all genders, and transgender researchers specifically, the new process ensures they can rightfully claim ownership of prior work without fear of reprisal under their lived name and be known in their respective fields primarily through their merits as published authors. This policy in many ways mirrors the standard ACS set when it announced a name-change policy in the fall of 2020. Similar policies have since been adopted by a number of other scientific publishers.

“ACS strongly supports progressive name change policies and led the scholarly communications industry in adopting these measures,” says Sarah Tegen, Ph.D., senior vice president, ACS Publications Division. “We are proud to partner with the National Laboratories to promote a more inclusive culture for researchers, which is part of our core values. A scholar’s publication record is critical to their career progression, and by eliminating a barrier to changing their name for any number of reasons.We’ve made it just a little easier to claim appropriate credit for their work.”

This partnership between ACS, the National Laboratories, and other major scientific organizations represents a commitment to creating a more inclusive culture in STEM fields and STEM publishing in particular. The participating National Laboratories will facilitate requests for name changes for any reason, including religious, marital, or other purposes, where supported by the policies in place at our publishing partners. 

What Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Staff are Saying About the Policy:

“We are supporting our colleagues on an important issue that is often taken for granted — allowing them to take full credit for their academic achievements with their name. It could not happen without our partners at the other national labs and in publishing. We’re grateful to be working in concert on this — it’s never been done before.” — Joerg Heber, Research Integrity Officer, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 

“I’m proud of the support and innovation at the national labs and the enthusiasm on the part of the publishers, at this level of commitment, to improve people’s lives. This change eliminates an enormous burden on researchers, emotionally and administratively, to correct the record. Our partnership on this is a continuation of the efforts that many national labs have initiated to create a more welcoming and inclusive work environment for trans researchers. I encourage others to join us.” — Lady Idos, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

 “As a trans scientist, having publications under my birth name causes me to have mixed feelings about past work of which I’m otherwise proud. I am faced with the dilemma of either hiding certain parts of it, or outing myself. Having my name updated on my previous publications would be enormously meaningful. It would allow me to make a first impression on my peers primarily through my merits as a scientist and it would allow me to unreservedly embrace and be proud of research from all stages of my career.” — Amalie Trewartha, Research Scientist, Toyota Research Institute; Materials Science Research Affiliate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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