Moving toward Equity

In keeping with the core values statements, the Association has made work towards equity, inclusion, diversity, and justice a core part of our mission as an organization of scholarly publishers. The Association’s Statement on Equity and Anti-Racism, approved by the AUPresses Board of Directors in spring 2020, keeps those commitments in view of our leadership, staff, volunteer committees, and members.

The members of the AUPresses Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Committee have been at the forefront of this work. A toolkit to help university presses audit the demographics of their authors, editors, reviewers, and other partner communities is in development; a rigorous process of research and piloting is now entering a phase of review and revision before final publication. A wide-ranging curation of resources for publishers and individuals looking to learn more about many aspects of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access has been created, and will soon be published for AUPresses members on a UP Commons resources site. Committee members initiated a series of “Activating Directors” virtual hangouts that led peer conversations between press directors about implementing anti-racist and equity commitments throughout a publishing organization. A community-read program for press directors brought scholar Roy Richard Grinker, author of Nobody’s Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness, to expand our community’s attention to issues of neurodiversity in the workplace. 

The Association, in partnership with the larger scholarly communications community, continued to advance this work as well. AUPresses is a founding member of and provides key administrative infrastructure for the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC). In 2022, C4DISC won the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Council of Science Editors, recognizing “significant contributions to advancing the broad goal of CSE: to improve scientific communication through the pursuit of high standards in all activities connected with editing.” One of the core programs of C4DISC is to host and facilitate a growing library of Toolkits for Equity, originally a project arising from the 2019 Triangle Scholarly Communications Institute. The second of these, the Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations, was launched in the past year, through the leadership of Jocelyn Dawson (Duke University Press) and Damita Snow (American Society of Civil Engineers) and with contributions from a large number of AUPresses members and staff. Other toolkits in development include one intended for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who work in scholarly publishing, and another for advancing disability equity.