As the scientific community comes together to celebrate and recognize the importance of the peer review process and the value of peer reviewers this week, we also want to call attention to the individuals, initiatives, and areas of ACS Publications that are dedicated and committed to creating trust and integrity in research.
We are opening this series by highlighting ACS Publications’ Publishing Integrity Office, and Shaina Lange who manages the office.
The Publishing Integrity Office was formally established in 2021, bringing together a team of experts responsible for supporting equitable, reproducible, and ethical research publications across the ACS journal portfolio. This office is part of the Research Integrity and Global Developments unit, charged with advancing and upholding quality standards to ensure trust and reproducibility in ACS journals.
The individuals, initiatives, and programs featured throughout this five-part series are interconnected with the work of the Publishing Integrity Office. Together, they support ACS Publications’ holistic approach to research integrity and demonstrate the community it takes to create and support trust in research on a global scale.
What is the role of the Publishing Integrity Office in ACS Publications?
The Publishing Integrity Office is made up of several expert staff responsible for publication ethics, data availability and reproducibility, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR) at ACS journals. We work in several capacities in these areas: maintaining and developing portfolio-wide policies and guidelines; providing training and educational resources for staff, editors, authors, and reviewers; advising and supporting staff and editors on reported issues and questions; and collaborating with other organizations to drive change in the research and scholarly communications communities.
How does the Publishing Integrity Office engage with other ACS Publications staff, editors, and external collaborators?
Our work requires an incredibly close partnership with other ACS Publications teams, journal editors, and journal support staff – all of whom prioritize research integrity in their roles. We often work with these stakeholders to address potential ethical or scientific issues in submitted manuscripts and published articles and to ensure adherence to policies and best practices, including the ACS Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research, the ACS Research Data Policy and Data Guidelines, and industry standards.
The Publishing Integrity Office also leads targeted initiatives to support equity and integrity in the peer review and publishing processes, including efforts to improve the diversity of journal contributors and minimize bias. Acknowledging that all of our processes and systems need to advance trust in our published research, we’re often asked to consult on projects in other areas of the publishing program such as the Transparent Peer Review Pilot which you will hear more about later in this series.
The theme of Peer Review Week 2022 is Research Integrity: Creating and Supporting Trust in Research. What initiatives have the Publishing Integrity Office undertaken recently to create and support trust in ACS’ published research?
Creating and supporting trust is an essential component of everything the Publishing Integrity Office does. Notably, we have taken several critical steps in the last year to ensure the results reported in our journals are verifiable, reproducible, and easily accessible to researchers. The ACS Research Data Policy and an evolving set of Research Data Guidelines were released in 2021, and we continue to progress in our policy levels with a Data Availability Statement Pilot launched just last week. Read this editorial to learn more about why data availability and data availability statements are crucial to maintaining trust in research.
What has surprised you most about your role and the work the Publishing Integrity Office does?
As someone who stepped into the scholarly publishing industry from another field (and eventually into a role dedicated to publishing integrity), I was pleasantly surprised and deeply inspired by the impact our work can have on an individual’s professional career and personal well-being. Our Author Name Change Policy, for example, was launched in late 2020 to offer an inclusive and respectful option for authors to change their names on prior publications with the ACS. Nearly 400 publications have been updated under this policy to date, which has enabled dozens of authors to receive proper credit for their work and reduced barriers to professional mobility.
Research integrity is embedded in the foundation of ACS Publications’ peer review and publishing process. The ACS Publishing Integrity Office is vital to supporting the global research community and the advancement of trusted science through the promotion of equitable, reproducible, and ethical publication policies and practices.
Learn more about the ACS Publishing Integrity Office here.
You can also REGISTER HERE to join in the conversation with Marc Hillmyer on Wednesday, September 21 from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EST to further discuss how we can all create and support trust in scientific research.