Do you have data, or an opinion? Share both with our SSP panel on diversity, equity, and inclusion

Vital Signs research program     

When TBI Communications conducted the Heatmaps industry research to capture key business and marketing indicators, the scholarly publishing industry was at the beginning of a period of great transformation. Since then, digital technologies have fundamentally changed research and scholarly communications, accelerating discovery and global knowledge sharing. But a comparable paradigm shift has yet to touch our workplace culture, where ingrained biases and inequitable practices stubbornly hang on. Despite many good intentions and some welcome steps forward in recent years, organizations in our community still have predominantly male leadership, a female workforce, very few people of color at any level, and deeply rooted structural issues.

However, we see a groundswell of support for cultural change rising across the industry. Conference panels (no longer ‘manels’) are full of new ideas and solutions. Nearly 100 organizations have already adopted the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC) Joint Statement of Principles and scores of colleagues are hard at work creating the three Toolkits for Equity. The global research conducted by the Workplace Equity Project–reported on in Evaluating Equity in Scholarly Publishing (Learned Publishing, 2020)–gathered data from 1,182 industry colleagues on their workplace experiences and perceptions and provided benchmarks for our industry to measure our progress.

Coming up is the call to action from Dr. Joseph M. Williams, as part of his keynote address at the upcoming SSP Annual Meeting, Fighting Racial Inequity in the Publishing Industry: Closing the Intention-Behavior Gap. Also in time for SSP, TBI will take a quick ‘pulse’ to assess the health of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community with our Vital Signs survey, which has been adapted from the original Workplace Equity Survey, enabling us to glean indicators of change since 2018.

Tell us what you think (No personally identifiable data will be collected)

William Edwards Deming, who helped design the U.S. Census, once remarked, “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” Observations that are supported by data separate the experts who drive change from the regular folk “with opinions.”

This year at SSP, TBI is bringing together a group of such experts for a panel, Accelerating DEI: Have the Data? Use the Data!

Scheduled for Tuesday, May 25 at 11 (ET), the panel will feature:

  • Emma Tregenza, General Counsel and EDI Lead, Emerald Publishing
  • Laura Norton, Ph.D., Senior Programme Manager, Inclusion and Diversity, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Holly Falk-Krzesinski, Ph.D., Vice President, Research Intelligence, Elsevier
  • Matt Giampoala, Ph.D., Vice President for Publications, American Geophysical Union

The panelists will share data and insights drawn from their research on gender, ethnicity, and other factors as they impact the research enterprise, draw on their wealth of experience in research design, and share lessons learned about analytics, systems, and processes when conducting this personal and sensitive research. We will also share some preliminary findings from the Vital Signs survey, which will close on June 1st (a report will be made openly available by early summer).

Publishers (experts with data) have the power to make a huge impact on our own organizations and beyond. Our hope is that both the Vital Signs survey and the Have the Data? Use the Data! panel will contribute to the work that is well underway informing best practices, expediting progress, and driving cultural change inside our organizations, through the research pipeline, and into society at large.

Find out how TBI’s Vital Signs research and communications program can help your organization.