July 28, 2021
Previous Next

Scientific publishing organizations and national laboratories partner on transgender-inclusive name-change process for published papers

Carrie L Martin, martin59 [at] llnl.gov, 925-424-4715

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is one of 17 U.S. national laboratories entering a partnership with prominent publishers, journals and other organizations in scientific publishing to support name-change requests from researchers on past published papers.

This agreement will allow researchers who wish to change their names to claim ownership more easily of work from all stages of their careers; it specifically addresses the administrative and emotional difficulties some transgender researchers have experienced when requesting name changes associated with past academic work.

“The importance of identity is a foundational element of any individual,” said Tony Baylis, director of LLNL’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs. “It provides a perspective of who you are and how others view you. This name change initiative supports researchers and scientists who want to ensure their publications and research represents them in way that contributes to their identity and well-being. LLNL is a proud collaborator along with our 16 other national laboratories and the 13 publishers who have partnered to support this effort, our LGBQT+ community and anyone else that wants to change their name in publications. This initiative demonstrates one example of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion at LLNL.”

Previously, individual researchers shouldered the burden, administratively and emotionally, of initiating name change requests with each publisher of their past papers. Many publishers have been independently updating their own policies to address an increasing number of name-change requests.

This partnership streamlines these previously ad hoc processes and offers an official validation mechanism to all involved by enabling researchers to ask their respective institutions to pursue name changes on their behalf directly with the publishers and journals.

For researchers of all genders, and transgender researchers specifically, the new process ensures they can rightfully claim ownership of prior work without fear of reprisal under their lived name and be known in their respective fields primarily through their merits as published authors.

As several researchers have attested, having their names updated on previous publications allows them to best represent their full suite of accomplishments. The ability to claim the volume of their work over time has significant implications for maintaining prominence in their area of research and for receiving credit for their academic impact.

“As a trans scientist, having publications under my birth name causes me to have mixed feelings about past work of which I'm otherwise proud,” said Amalie Trewartha, research scientist, Toyota Research Institute and materials science research affiliate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). “I am faced with the dilemma of either hiding certain parts of it or outing myself. Having my name updated on my previous publications would be enormously meaningful. It would allow me to make a first impression on my peers primarily through my merits as a scientist and it would allow me to unreservedly embrace and be proud of research from all stages of my career.”

The partnership between the national laboratories, major scientific publishers, journals and other organizations represents a commitment to creating a more inclusive culture in STEM fields and STEM publishing in particular. The participating national laboratories will facilitate requests for name changes for any reason, including religious, marital or other purposes, where supported by the policies in place at publishing partners.

“We are proud to participate in this unique partnership between national laboratories and scientific publishers, showing support for our transgender and non-binary colleagues," said Lily Forest, technical editor and a leader for the LLNL Pride employee resource group. “We hope that simplifying the name change process also will set a precedent for those who want to change their names for other reasons. The LLNL Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office and the Pride employee resource group enthusiastically support this initiative and hope to encourage more organizations to join us.”

The 17 national laboratories across the United States are pursuing this work in alignment with their respective diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, not as a result of any federal policy changes, and welcome new partners as the effort advances. LBNL is coordinating the effort.

LIST OF PARTICIPATING INSTITUTIONS:

Publishing organizations & services

American Chemical Society

American Physical Society

American Society for Microbiology

arXiv

Clarivate

eLife

Elsevier

Hindawi

Royal Society of Chemistry

protocols.io

Scopus

Springer Nature

Wiley

National Laboratories

Ames National Laboratory

Argonne National Laboratory

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Idaho National Laboratory

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

National Energy Technology Laboratory

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Sandia National Laboratories

Savannah River National Laboratory

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Tags:Careers