Update: To access the most recent ACS Publications Diversity Data Report, released in December 2023, click here.
ACS Publications has released its second annual Diversity Data Report presenting current Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect (DEIR) efforts and the demographics of its community of authors, reviewers, Editors, and Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) members. These data enable us to identify areas where improvements in representation can be made and to track the outcomes of our targeted strategies to address inequality in our journals.
A summary of the ACS Publications Diversity Data Report 2022 appears below.
Current Diversity Initiatives
ACS Publications continues to make progress on the original DEIR commitments outlined in a joint editorial from June 2020, while also implementing several new initiatives that aim to diversity programs across the ACS.
The demographic data for this report come from an ongoing survey of authors, reviewers, Editors, and EAB members, as well as geographical data collected from user accounts from these same groups. Year-over-year changes in demographics were evaluated for statistical significance using a chi-square test.
Men account for the majority of every contributor role reported upon, often outnumbering women more than two-fold. Nonbinary individuals comprise 1% or less in each role. There were small increases from 2021 to 2022 in the proportion of respondents identifying as women among authors, Editors, and EAB members, with only the increase among authors being statistically significant.
Three regions are home to most people in the roles covered by this report. Individuals from East Asia and the Pacific make up the majority of all author categories, with a statistically significant increase since 2021. The region also contributes the majority of reviewers. Europe and Central Asia is second and the United States and Canada is third for both authors and reviewers. Most Editors and EAB members are based in the United States or Canada.
Racial and Ethnic Representation
Most authors, reviewers, Editors, and EAB members identify as either East Asian or White. East Asian authors make up the greatest share of those submitting manuscripts while East Asian and White authors contribute roughly equal proportions of published manuscripts. Compared to 2021, 2022 saw statistically significant increases in East Asian, South Asian, and Middle Eastern/North African authors with a concomitant decrease in authors identifying as White.
Respondents identifying as White also comprise the greatest proportion of reviewers, Editors, and EAB positions. Aside from South Asian authors submitting to chemical engineering journals, no other group makes up more than 10% of any category.
Academic Age Representation
The largest share of authors and reviewers have had their doctorate for 11 to 20 years, with notable variation by subject area. The second largest group is authors who earned their doctorate 21 to 30 years ago. The exceptions are the analytical and environmental chemistry subject areas, where more than a quarter of authors earned their doctorate 10 years ago or less.
In the Future
ACS Publications will use the data in this report as well as community feedback to design and assess strategic initiatives that address the systemic issues in peer review, editor selection, accessibility, and other factors affecting DEIR in scientific publishing.
Reporting on ACS Publications’ contributor demographics and current initiatives reaffirms our commitment to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR), identifying and dismantling barriers to success, and creating a welcoming and supportive environment so that all ACS contributors, members, employees, and volunteers can thrive.
We continue to actively listen to the community on these issues and welcome your feedback on how we are doing. Please complete our Diversity Feedback form to share your comments.