After reading a paper about Amazonian frogs in May 2020, behavioral ecologist Daniela Roessler of Harvard University was astonished. The study named 27 authors, all male. The publication sparked an outcry on Twitter for more diversity in science. Roessler and colleagues then wrote a letter to journal publishers suggesting a way for authors to help advance that goal: publicly declare in their submitted manuscripts whether they had considered diversity, equity, and inclusion in the study.
Last week, Cell Press, publisher of more than 50 journals, became one of the first publlshers to invite authors to do so. The publisher—whose titles include the prestigious Cell, as well as Neuron and Current Biology—said the declarations can highlight authors’ personal characteristics or elements of a study’s design. These can include, for example, researchers’ use of ethnically diverse cell lines and genomic data sets and efforts to ensure gender balance in study samples and on lists of citations and authors.