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COLLEGE PARK, MD, July, 28, 2021 — The American Physical Society (APS) has joined the 17 US national laboratories and many prominent publishers, journals, and other organizations in scientific publishing in a partnership to support name change requests from researchers on past published papers. APS plans to announce its name change policy, which would apply to all Physical Review journals, later this year.
This agreement will allow researchers who wish to change their names to more effortlessly 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.
The partnership enables researchers to ask their respective institutions to pursue name changes on their behalf directly with the publishers and journals. Previously, individual researchers shouldered the burden of initiating name change requests with each publisher of their past papers.
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 name 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 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 their publishing partners.
The partnership aligns with APS’s commitment to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture in physics and STEM publishing in particular. In November 2020, the Physical Review journals announced an opportunity for authors to include their preferred pronouns together with their email addresses in their published papers. APS is also a signatory on the Royal Society of Chemistry’s joint commitment for action on inclusion and diversity in publishing.
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. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is coordinating the effort.
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The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents more than 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world.