Why Diversity Is Important in Scholarly Journals

By Jared Peterman on Apr 10, 2019
Why Diversity Is Important in Scholarly Journals

When an Editor-in-Chief (EiC) is managing a scholarly journal, there are a million things to consider and make decisions on. One thing that should be imperative on an EiC’s list is diversity across the journal, among its review board members and article contributors. Maintaining diversity improves the overall quality, reputation, and integrity of the journal. Endeavors to increase diversity can of course take time, so why should EiCs actively work toward achieving diversity?

Research can be biased in many facets as it can favor a specific view, not representing a wide enough spectrum. Creating an inclusive, diverse scholarly journal will facilitate a complete and comprehensive representation of the research as it will ensure there aren’t any biases or blind spots in the research. An unbiased scholarly journal will garner an excellent global reputation. Also, while many factors play into the evaluation process for indexing consideration, diversity is one of the most notable, and those journals that have high levels of diversity and inclusivity are those most likely to be indexed by prestigious indexing databases.

Diversity in a scholarly journal can be represented several ways, and EiCs must carefully consider the following categories:

Gender

Gender diversity is important because to fully engage a wide audience the journal must reach the entire gender spectrum. Women aren’t well represented on big corporate boards and the same can be said for editorial boards at times. An EiC should seek research and editorial direction from all genders to enhance the overall reach and status of the journal.

International Representation

Having a strong international presence among the review board and contributors is important in a scholarly journal because the EiC should want the research to be multicultural and applicable to various regions all over the world. When appointing review board members and/or recruiting contributors, the EiC should consider networking to global groups to maximize the reach of the journal and expand the research within the field.

Ethnic and Cultural Diversity

Like gender, having ethnic and cultural diversity among the review board and contributors is important because it connects to a wider spectrum and enhances the journal’s reputation and reach. Different cultures have different ways of using and interpreting research across a multitude of fields.

Seniority

Age diversity among reviewers and contributors is also an important factor. Whether an early career researcher or a more seasoned researcher who has been in the field for decades, each person should be treated the same.

So Where Do We Go From Here?

Ensuring diversity across a broad spectrum can be challenging, but the investment will pay off through the overall reputation of the journal among the research community.

If you are ever in doubt that the content within your publication and/or those serving as reviewers and/or contributors for the work adequately demonstrate diversity, it never hurts to receive feedback from another researcher in the field. eContent Pro International’s Scientific and Scholarly Editing service can provide a level of support, and upon request, the editor can evaluate the level of diversity represented in the work.

Also, the English Language Copy Editing service can support authors who speak English as a second language. The copy editor will resolve the author’s article manuscript once it has been translated into English (by the author or by an eContent Pro International® translator if using the Translation service) of any spelling, grammar, and formatting mistakes, among others, maintaining a level of sensitivity to the language selected by the publisher (English) while also recognizing that the author’s native language is not English. This, in turn, makes it easier for those from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds to submit their work to any journal that is published in English.

For those interested in having their work translated into another language, eContent Pro International’s Translation service can be a wonderful support service.

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