Literature

Wiley updates author name change policy within research publishing to support a more inclusive publishing environment

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Wiley has updated its author name change policy, which applies to all research published in its more than 1,700 journals, to support the anonymity of authors who wish to change their name on already-published research. The new policy went into effect on December 18, 2020.

Name change policies make sure that an individual’s entire bibliography is attributed to the same name – and since an author’s published research is often the basis for their professional growth, ensuring that their name is updated correctly and consistently is essential to both their personal wellbeing and professional success.

Whether it’s because of gender identity, religion, or relationship status, changing one’s name represents a milestone. However, changing names requires discretion and sensitivity, especially in the case of transgender (including non-binary) authors.

Coming out should always be a personal choice. Wiley’s new policy, which was developed alongside a global community of transgender and non-binary authors, puts this power back where it belongs – in the hands of the author.

Wiley’s new policy removes two processes that used to occur when an author submits a name change: the journal no longer publishes a correction notice to the updated paper, and no longer notifies co-authors of their colleague’s name change. Under the new policy, the paper is updated, republished, and then the updated metadata are redelivered to indexing services. Authors do not need to provide proof or documentation to submit a name change.

“I’m so pleased with the work Wiley has done to ensure that trans authors were involved at every stage during their policy reconstruction,” says Irving Rettig, a chemistry Ph.D. candidate at Portland State University, who helped inform the new policy. “Growing support from large publishers like Wiley really helps us apply pressure to publishers who have been reluctant to engage in these discussions. Right now, the publishing landscape is changing in a profound way; before, cisnormative biases informed academic publishing practices and created barriers for trans authors. Now, they are working alongside us to support and uplift our academic excellence in the way that we have always deserved.”

An open, supportive and inclusive research environment must be a priority for all involved in the development and dissemination of research. Wiley remains committed to driving change that supports all stakeholders in the research ecosystem, and was recently designated by the Human Rights Campaign as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality.

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