We are excited to announce the third annual ACS Publications Diversity Data Report, which highlights our ongoing DEIR efforts and provides a demographic overview of our author, reviewer, editorial, and Editorial Advisory Board communities.

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ACS Publications has released its third annual Diversity Data Report, providing an overview of ongoing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect (DEIR) efforts and the demographic makeup of its author, reviewer, editorial, and Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) communities. This data serves as a valuable tool for identifying areas where representation can be enhanced and tracking the effectiveness of targeted strategies aimed at addressing inequity within our journals.

Access the full 2023 Diversity Data Report and explore key highlights below.

Current Diversity Initiatives

ACS Publications continues to build on the diversity, equity, inclusion and respect commitments made in June 2020, and we have implemented additional DEIR initiatives described within the report. These programs stand atop continued efforts to diversify our editorial boards, a long history of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs across the ACS, and ongoing initiatives from the ACS Office of DEIR.

Demographic Data

The demographic data for this report were obtained from an ongoing survey of authors, reviewers, editors, and EAB members, as well as geographic data collected from ACS Paragon Plus user accounts from these same groups. Year-over-year changes in demographics were evaluated for statistical significance.

Gender Representation

Men comprise the majority of our journal communities, however this varies by journal role, and gender diversity has markedly increased over time. ACS Publications has made concerted efforts to increase gender diversity among our editorial teams, as well as journal reviewers and authors. Between 2021 and 2023, we saw a statistically significant increase in the proportion of women as co-authors and corresponding authors of submitted and published manuscripts, as well as women as invited reviewers. The proportion of women among editors and EAB members has notably increased since ACS Publications sought to improve the gender diversity of editorial teams over a decade ago. Individuals identifying as nonbinary comprise 1.5% or less of authors and reviewers.

Geographic Representation

The ACS journal communities represented in this report consist largely of individuals residing in East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, South Asia, and the United States and Canada. Most authors and reviewers are located in East Asia and the Pacific, a region whose representation has increased as a percentage of the total over time, including a statistically significant increase between 2021 and 2023. Among editors and EAB members, most are located in the United States and Canada; however, representation from East Asia and the Pacific, as well as South Asia has grown in 2023 in comparison to 2021.

Racial and Ethnic Representation

ACS authors and reviewers are predominantly East Asian. Individuals who identify as White form the largest proportion of editors and EAB members. Racial/ethnic identity demographics of authors and reviewers shifted significantly between 2021 and 2023, with East Asian and South Asian representation increasing and White representation decreasing. Latino or Hispanic individuals are the third most highly represented racial/ethnic group among editors and EAB members, and the fourth most highly represented group among authors and reviewers.

Career Stage Representation

The proportion of early career researchers (0-10 years post-completion of their doctorate) in various roles increased between 2021 and 2023. Trends among early-mid career researchers (11-20 years post-doctorate) varied across roles. We have used time since doctorate as a quantitative and scalable measure to assess career stage for the analyses in this report, but we recognize that this is an imperfect method as many scientists who have not completed a PhD contribute meaningfully to our ACS journal communities, as well as scientific research and scholarly communication overall.

In the Future

Leveraging the insights from this report, ACS Publications will continuously refine its procedural and programmatic approaches to fostering diversity and equity in scientific publishing. This ongoing effort will be guided by ongoing feedback from the chemistry community, monitoring of global trends in chemistry, and broader scholarly industry discussions.

Read Previous Diversity Data Reports

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