In June 2020, the Editors of ACS Publications journals wrote a joint editorial on addressing systemic racism in the chemistry community. That editorial made several commitments, including a pledge to gather and make public our “baseline statistics on diversity within our journals, encompassing our editors, advisors, reviewers, and authors.”
ACS Publications is now honoring that promise with a report of baseline data on the gender, racial, ethnic, and regional representation of our authors, reviewers, Editors, and Editorial Advisory Board members. This report supports our efforts to identify areas where representation improvements can be made by formulating targeted strategies to address bias in our journals.
A summary of the ACS Publications Diversity Data Report 2021 appears below.
The data for this report come from a recent survey of authors, reviewers, Editors, and Editorial Advisory Board members, as well as existing geographical data from these same groups.
Men comprise the majority of every community reported on here, often by a ratio of 2:1 or more, compared with women, with nonbinary individuals comprising less than 1.5% of all communities.
Three regions are home to most people in the roles covered by this report. The majority of authors and reviewers reside in East Asia and the Pacific, followed by either the United States and Canada, or Europe and Central Asia. Most Editors and EAB members are based in the United States or Canada.
Racial and Ethnic Representation
Persons who self-identify as East Asian or White account for a majority of authors, reviewers, and editors. Respondents identifying as White comprise the greatest proportion of published authors, reviewers, and editorial positions, while those respondents who identify as East Asian represent the majority of submitting authors. No other group comprises more than 10% of any category.
Current Diversity Initiatives
ACS Publications has spent the past 18 months focusing on the specific diversity commitments made in June 2020, along with implementing several additional DEIR initiatives during this time. These programs stand atop continued efforts to diversify our Editorial Boards and a long history of diversity programs across the ACS.
In the Future
ACS Publications will use the data in this report to design and evaluate procedural and programmatic changes to address the systemic issues in peer review, editor selection, accessibility, and other factors affecting diversity in scientific publishing.