Learn how ACS Publications continues to lead the way to ensure Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect (DEIR) are upheld during peer review and throughout the publishing process.

A series of portraits of women in different colors.

In the world of scientific research, diverse perspectives act as the catalyst for innovation. Yet for all its merits, the peer review process, which should ideally be devoid of biases, is sometimes affected by them. The good news is that ACS Publications continues to lead the way to ensure that our core values of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect (DEIR) are upheld during peer review and throughout the entire publishing process.

Understanding the Biases

To navigate the challenge of biases during the peer review process, we first need to identify the undercurrents. ACS Reviewer Lab offers insights into recognizing biases, spanning from ethnic and gender to prestige and model. Such biases can influence the judgment of reviewers, often leading to evaluations that veer towards leniency or, conversely, undue harshness. Educating reviewers about these biases forms the bedrock of a more balanced review process.

Embracing DEIR Strategies

The American Chemical Society (ACS) remains committed to fostering an inclusive environment. Through its strategies and goals, DEIR has been interwoven as a core principle. The Diversity Data Report is a testament to ACS Publications’ strides in reporting on and diversifying the reviewer community. Moreover, the ACS Inclusivity Style Guide provides invaluable guidance for reviewers and editors, ensuring that communication amongst themselves and with authors remains respectful and constructive.

ACS Publications Diversity Data Report 2022

This annual report presents current Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect (DEIR) efforts and the demographics of ACS Publications' community of authors, reviewers, Editors, and Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) members.

Promoting Accountability and Transparency

Prioritizing DEIR values throughout the publishing process is becoming increasingly important to both authors and reviewers. To support the advancement of diversity information within published articles, ACS Publications recently provided updated guidance and best practices on how to provide a diversity and inclusion statement when submitting a manuscript to an ACS journal. Incorporating such statements helps strengthen author accountability and provides transparency for both reviewers and readers.

A Vision for an Inclusive Future

Progress is a collective endeavor. "Our goal is to ensure peer review within ACS Publications is inclusive and to integrate more diverse participants into the process," says Michelle Fleetwood, Publishing Integrity Manager at ACS Publications. "Chemistry and scientific discourse thrive when nurtured by varied viewpoints." By harnessing technology and fostering a culture of awareness and inclusivity, the research community can ensure that peer review and the entire publishing process reflect the rich tapestry of global perspectives.

To join the momentum, share your feedback on DEIR at ACS Publications and access resources such as the C4DISC Guidelines and the COPE discussion document.

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