On the road to trans inclusivity in publishing at the American Ornithological Society

By Catherine Lindell, Editor-in-Chief, Ornithological Applications

AOS logo with rainbow colors of pride flag

The American Ornithological Society (AOS) is striving to become welcoming and inclusive of all members of our community. The Committee on Publication Ethics or COPE has resources to help us on this journey. COPE “provides leadership in thinking on publication ethics, practical resources to educate and support members, and offers a professional voice in current debates.” 

Earlier this year, COPE published best practices for working towards a more trans-inclusive publishing world. These address multiple issues that may be new to some of us; we encourage everyone to read the guidelines to educate yourself. One of the guidelines, for example, states that name changes should be carried out quickly, with as little bureaucratic friction as possible. Another encourages name changes to be comprehensive; in other words, they should be implemented for past publications and in any records that publishers maintain about authors. 

Some of COPE’s recommendations, such as changing names in past print publications, will be challenging. The AOS editorial teams for Ornithology and Ornithological Applications, the Rainbow Lorikeets, and our publishing partner, Oxford University Press, are considering how we can best apply these guidelines going forward, to the benefit of our entire community. With more awareness of, and firm commitments to address these issues, we will make progress in removing the barriers to participation in our publication process for all AOS members.

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