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

Name changes allow researchers of all genders to own their academic work

All seventeen U.S. national laboratories and many prominent publishers, journals, and other organizations in scientific publishing announced today the beginning of a partnership to support name change requests from researchers on past published papers. The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) is among the laboratories partnering with publishers to make name changes of academic papers easier for researchers.

This agreement will allow researchers who wish to change their names to more easily claim 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.

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 is a major milestone in the effort to ensure equality, inclusion and fairness throughout the research community,” said Steve Cowley, PPPL director. “This partnership will guarantee that our scientists own their research identity throughout their careers, as is surely their right.”

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.

"I am so proud that our lab is a part of this historic moment!” said Jordan Vannoy, PPPL executive director, Human Resources and Organizational Development. “The ability for someone to claim their previously published work under their current name, removes one more barrier that may be impacting them personally, and the research holistically. This determination will also have long-term impacts to improving equity, building a feeling of belonging, being seen, and being valued."

Barbara Harrison, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Business Partner at PPPL, added: "This is a monumental moment in history! I am proud that the national laboratories are setting the example. This decision will allow our researchers to focus solely on their work and receive the recognition they deserve."

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.

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 our publishing partners.

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.

PUBLISHING ORGANIZATIONS AND SERVICES                                            

• American Association for the Advancement of Science / Science 

• 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

PPPL, on Princeton University's Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, N.J., is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas — ultra-hot, charged gases — and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy. The Laboratory is managed by the University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit energy.gov/science.

U.S. Department of Energy
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.

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