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Elsevier and Scopus partner with US national laboratories on an inclusive name change process for researchers

 by Elizabeth Gibson 

As part of our ongoing commitment to inclusion and diversity, Elsevier and Scopus have recently announced a new partnership with all 17 US national laboratories and 11 other scientific publishing organizations that will streamline the process of making name change requests.

This partnership comes further to Elsevier's March announcement of a trans-inclusive author name change policy allowing researchers to change their name on published peer-reviewed articles. For transgender authors and other authors with a strong need for privacy, these changes can be made ‘invisibly.’ Following a request from the author, Elsevier will apply the updated name to versions of the article on ScienceDirect, Scopus and other relevant platforms.  With the new partnership, researchers at participating national laboratories no longer have to approach each publisher separately to request a name change. Instead, they can ask their institution to do so on their behalf.

Researchers may choose to update their name for a number of reasons, for example, to reflect gender, religious or marital changes. For transgender researchers in particular, the new process alleviates the burden of rightfully claiming ownership of their full body of prior work under their lived name, without fear of reprisal. The ability to do so ‘invisibly’ ensures privacy around the process, and can alleviate potential risks associated with outward changes, for example, of being outed when one’s old or dead name is exposed.

As Amalie Trewartha, Research Scientist at Toyota Research Institute and Materials Science Research Affiliate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, explains: “As a trans scientist, having publications under my birth name causes me to have mixed feelings about past work of which I'm otherwise proud. I am faced with the dilemma of either hiding certain parts of it or outing myself. Having my name updated on my previous publications would be enormously meaningful. It would allow me to make a first impression on my peers primarily through my merits as a scientist and it would allow me to unreservedly embrace and be proud of research from all stages of my career.”

“At Elsevier, we are proud to be part of a company which is fully supportive of the inclusive name change process for researchers,” says Olivier Dumon, Chief Product Officer at Elsevier. “We enable researchers to change their names for their Elsevier publications. In addition, we help researchers ensure that their Scopus profile is as complete and accurate as possible and displayed with their chosen name. Invisible name changes are important, including for authors from the transgender community.”

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