Cell Press articles to highlight research teams

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Scientists who publish in Cell Press research journals (e.g., Cell, Joule, Current Biology, etc.) will now have the option to include a short statement that highlights elements of the study design and/or author characteristics that are relevant to inclusion and diversity. The statement is generated based on information provided on a dedicated inclusion and diversity form that study authors complete as part of the acceptance process. This pilot initiative will also allow Cell Press to better collect, analyze and share data on the general inclusion and diversity efforts of research teams.

“In an ideal world, science would cover and be conducted by as wide a range of individuals as exists in global society, with all who wish to participate being and feeling welcome within the global scientific community. Currently, however, the scientific enterprise is a far cry from such inclusion and diversity,” says Anne Kitson, Managing Director, Cell Press and The Lancet. “We want to find ways to push for positive change through the platform of our magazines. In this, we see an opportunity to give authors the opportunity to share their efforts as well.”

The concept behind this initiative is similar to existing statements on declarations of interest, author contributions, and data and code availability, but focuses on highlighting aspects of the paper that are relevant to the inclusion and diversity. It is deliberately multifunctional and designed to give authors a place to express the ways in which their work, their research group, or both contribute to helping science become more inclusive and diverse. It also reflects the direction of Elsevier’s Inclusion and Diversity Council and a broader commitment to promoting women in science as well as racial, ethnic and geographic diversity on editorial boards, peer review peers and scientific conferences while supporting publication and inclusive research participation.

Researchers may include information on efforts to ensure the diversity of cell lines or genomic datasets used for a study, efforts to ensure sex and gender balance among research subjects, efforts to s ‘ensuring that all study questionnaires are prepared in an inclusive manner, efforts to avoid science’, the self-identification of authors as members of minority groups, the support that all authors have received from programs designed to supporting minority scientists and efforts to promote gender balance in citation lists.

For example, an article’s inclusion and diversity statement might read: “We have worked to ensure gender balance in the selection of non-human subjects. One or more of the authors of this article s ‘identify as living with a disability. One or more of the authors of this article received support from a program designed to increase the representation of minorities in science.’ Cell Press will run this program as a pilot project during 2021, then decide whether to continue, adapt or expand it towards the end of the year. The first iteration will focus only on research articles.

“Any research group that does not wish to publish a statement will not be required, but Cell Press will retain data submitted through the inclusion and diversity forms for aggregate reporting. “We need data to help us track the progress. We hope we can use it to benchmark and set targets for the kinds of inclusion and diversity efforts that Cell Press and our authors are doing,” said John Pham, editor-in-chief of Cell. “For example, we would like to be able to indicate how many of our papers have at least one minority scientist among the author group or have made efforts to account for diversity in the selection of experimental materials or samples. We can then develop ways to challenge ourselves and the community to increase diversity and monitor results.”

“We hope this new inclusion and diversity initiative will give our authors a powerful opportunity to share their contributions visibly within the context of their article,” said Deborah Sweet, editorial vice president of Cell Press. “We see it as a way to recognize current authors who have worked to improve inclusion and diversity in science and to encourage others to do more in the future. We also hope it will be a source of inspiration and confidence within the scientific community and beyond.”

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CellSweet, D.: “New to Cell Press: The Inclusion and Diversity Statement” https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)31689-5

For a list of FAQs on the Inclusion and Diversity Statement Initiative, please visit: https://www.cell.com/inclusion-diversity-statement-faqs

Cell Press (@CellPressNews), an Elsevier brand, is a leading publisher of scientific research and journals. We advance science and encourage the cross-pollination of ideas with our passion for excellence and our commitment to innovation. Our goal is to engage the scientific community by communicating important and exciting discoveries made today that will impact the future of research. Visit: http://www.cell.com/. To receive Cell Press media alerts, contact [email protected]


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