Scientific publishing organizations and national laboratories partner on transgender-inclusive name-change process for published papers

All seventeen U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) 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.

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.

Previously, individual researchers shouldered the burden, administratively and emotionally, of initiating name change requests with each publisher of their past papers. Many publishers have been independently updating their own policies to address an increasing number of name change requests.

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.

“Loss of publication lineage during a name change is an issue that absolutely effects our scientists; historically this is an issue that disproportionately effects women and transgender individuals and adds to the burden that these communities already face,” said Pete Friedman, Enterprise architect, Business and Information Services, and co-chair of Spectrum employee resource group at Argonne National Laboratory. “For transgender researchers, they often must face a choice between being ‘outed’ by their publication history, or not acknowledging previous work. The ability for a researcher to, without fanfare, perform a name change directly contributes to the psychological safety and overall inclusivity of the workplace.”

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 names 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 partnership between the national laboratories, major scientific publishers, journals, and other organizations represents a commitment to creating a more inclusive culture in STEM fields and STEM publishing in particular. 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 our publishing partners.

The seventeen DOE 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.

List of Participating Institutions

Publishing Organizations & Services

  • American Chemical Society
  • American Physical Society
  • American Society for
  • Microbiology
  • arXiv
  • Clarivate
  • eLife
  • Elsevier
  • Hindawi
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • protocols.io
  • Scopus
  • Springer Nature
  • Wiley

National Laboratories

  • Ames National Laboratory
  • Argonne National Laboratory
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Fermi National Accelerator Facility
  • Idaho National Laboratory
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • National Energy Technology Laboratory
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • Savannah River National Laboratory
  • SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
  • Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science.