October 16, 2021

Elsevier Launches a Trans-Inclusive Name Change Policy

From Elsevier:

Elsevier is proud to launch a trans-inclusive policy for author name changes. This allows authors to retrospectively return to previously peer-reviewed articles of record and update them with their current names. Elsevier is committed to working with our partners to build more inclusive research and health ecosystems. We believe that we can make a real impact by ensuring that our content and solutions are as inclusive as possible, and by supporting the community of research and health professionals to enhance inclusion across all dimensions of diversity.

A trans-inclusive policy for author name changes serves to redress the personal and professional risks that many trans researchers have faced when correcting their publication record. We pledge our commitment to making name changes: accessible, without placing unnecessary burdens on authors; comprehensive in their implementation across platforms; and invisible, to help protect authors from harassment, in accordance with the Committee on Publication Ethics Working Group’s principles.

Upon request, Elsevier applies name updates directly to all versions of the published article on primary platforms such as ScienceDirect. We also propagate these changes to versions held across secondary platforms including Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed, and archives such as Portico. This policy represents a crucial step towards ensuring researchers are credited properly for their full body of published work, which is essential to their professional development. We are assessing what further actions are needed to make the changes comprehensive, for example correcting citations in previously published Elsevier content which is more technically complex.

We are pleased to extend a similar policy to authors who have changed their name for other personal reasons (e.g., marriage, divorce, or religious conversion).

“We’re living inside of a transforming consensus, and the speed with which groups like COPE, EDIS, and Elsevier have recognized the need to implement more inclusive policies is a testament to this rapid transformation,” commented Theresa Tanenbaum, Co-Founder, The Trans Name Change Policy working group. “The progress that we’re collectively making towards a more just publishing landscape is profoundly rewarding.”

Philippe Terheggen, Managing Director, STM Journals, added: “This policy enables us to help protect authors’ privacy and safety, while still safeguarding the scholarly record. Equity and inclusion in publishing is critically important for scientific excellence and innovation. Elsevier believes passionately in the power of an inclusive publishing environment, also in our own workplace, not only to do what is right, but to enrich, strengthen and advance us all.”

We recognise there remains work for publishers, including Elsevier, to do to dismantle historical biases to ensure greater inclusivity. We stand ready and willing to listen, learn, and respond.

Inclusion & Diversity at Elsevier
As a publisher, we have a role as a curator of the research ecosystem, which is why we have created an Inclusion & Diversity Advisory Board to bring together the expert and thoughtful contributions of leaders from across the international research and health community. The Board aims to impact diversity and inclusion in research across gender, race & ethnicity, and geographical dimensions and ensure that research is conducted and reported in the most equitable and inclusive manner possible. Together we are developing standards, best practices and evidence-based initiatives that drive unbiased, robust decisions to improve I&D in editorial boards, peer review and scientific conferences as well as equity in research funding, publication and career opportunities.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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