Improving diversity on editorial boards is a pressing concern in the academic community. The direction and success of a journal can live or die by its editorial board. And for an editorial board to be effective, it needs to be as diverse as the research community it represents.
Unfortunately, editorial boards often lack gender, geographic, and ethnic diversity. As editor-in-chief, it sits with you to tackle any such imbalance on your board.
Yana Suchy, Editor-in-Chief of The Clinical Neuropsychologist faced this challenge with her own board. Here she reveals the steps she took to increase diversity as well as the results she’s seen.
Three years ago, Yana began to think about the diversity of editorial boards in her field. She quickly came to realize that women and professionals from different ethnic backgrounds were under-represented on the editorial boards of journals in the field of clinical neuropsychology.
While she couldn’t change what other journal editors were doing, she decided to effect some changes in her own journal.
Yana wanted to know if her editorial board reflected the makeup of the research community that her journal was speaking to. This was the situation she discovered in 2015:
*according to survey findings, (Sweet et al., 2015).
Yana clearly had some work to do to bring the board in line with the field.
To improve diversity, Yana and her board implemented the following:
Action to tackle diversity is not enough. You must monitor the impact of what you’ve done to ensure real change is happening on your board.
By 2018 Yana was able to see a significant improvement.
The results for The Clinical Neuropsychologist are very encouraging, but Yana isn’t going to stop there. Achieving representative diversity on editorial boards takes sustained effort.
Yana plans to implement further initiatives to build upon the success. These include a data tracking process and a mentoring system to encourage diverse board applicants.
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The latest episode explores the challenges of research life, looking at important issues that aren’t always talked about. Among these are the challenges faced by women and those from minority ethnic backgrounds in research.
References: Sweet, J.J., Benson, L.M., Nelson N.W., & Moberg, P.J. (2015). The American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, National Academy of Neuropsychology, and Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (APA Division 40) 2015 TCN Professional Practice and ‘Salary Survey’: Professional Practices, Beliefs, and Incomes of U.S. Neuropsychologists. TCN, 29, 1069-1162