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. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is coordinating the effort.
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.
“We are supporting our colleagues on an important issue that is often taken for granted — allowing them to take full credit for their academic achievements with their name,” said Joerg Heber, Research Integrity Officer, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “It could not happen without our partners at the other national labs and in publishing. We’re grateful to be working in concert on this — it’s never been done before.”
Previously, individual researchers shouldered the burden, administratively and emotionally, of initiating name change requests with each publisher of their past papers. 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. Many publishers have been independently updating their own policies to address an increasing number of name change requests.