Learning to Communicate Inclusively: A New ACS Guide Chapter  - ACS Axial | ACS Publications
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Learning to Communicate Inclusively: A New ACS Guide Chapter 

When done right, communication can open doors—it allows people to learn new concepts, meet one another, and share information. But often, we can unintentionally close doors with our communication when unconscious biases appear in the words and images we use. Language and images that alienate groups or perpetuate stereotypes create barriers between a communicator and their potential audience.

To break down those barriers and help advance a more diverse and inclusive culture in science, the ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication has added a new open-access chapter on inclusive language and images. The latest chapter is the ACS Inclusivity Style Guide, a resource developed by the American Chemical Society Communications Division and the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Respect. Using accessible language and real-life examples, the new chapter helps readers learn to communicate in ways that recognize and respect diversity in all its forms.

The guidelines can be applied to all content to make it more welcoming and relevant, regardless of the topic. The chapter includes recommended language on gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, disabilities and disorders, and more. It offers important context for each topic, including the background behind each recommendation and links to valuable resources.  Examples of topics the guide discusses include:

  • when to use the description “people of color,”
  • when to use the singular pronoun “they,” and
  • when to use people-first or identity-first language for health conditions.

The guide is primarily based on recommendations from advocacy and journalistic groups. Because language is ever-evolving, the guide will be updated over time to reflect changes in language and to incorporate new topics.

The ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication provides students, researchers, educators, and librarians with the instruction and advice they need to master the art of scholarly communication beyond the scientific journal. With the valuable guidance and examples provided in this newest ACS Guide chapter, readers can learn how to keep communication opening, not closing, doors.

To give feedback on this chapter of the guide, please email ISG@acs.org.

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