2023 - All Press Releases

New Springer Nature report calls for increased awareness of barriers facing researchers from underrepresented groups

London |  Berlin | New York 21 June 2023

A new report published today by Springer Nature shares insights into how researchers around the world experience diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

The survey of nearly 5,000 researchers finds that there is widespread discrimination, harassment and bullying reported by respondents across all demographics, with researchers who identify as belonging to underrepresented groups - and those in their early career stages - experiencing more instances of such behaviours. 

Prejudice, inertia and unconscious bias are perceived to be the biggest barriers to DEI according to the survey, and a low level of satisfaction with existing DEI programmes and initiatives was also reported.

Responses from early career researchers, who represent a diverse demographic group, identified a need for ongoing, proactive discussions about DEI at all career stages and active support from institutional leaders to foster more inclusive research cultures. 

Overall, the report shows a notable gap in perceptions of DEI and a lack of sufficient discussion on the specific challenges facing those in different geographic regions. Those researchers facing barriers outlined the importance of raising awareness among all groups to bridge this gap.

While this survey is not the first of its type, this new data offers further evidence of the need for action to reform the research climate.

Sowmya Swaminathan, Chair of Springer Nature’s Research & Solutions DEI Programme and a member of the Springer Nature DEI Council, said: 

‘These headline findings are stark; Springer Nature unequivocally condemns any form of harassment, bullying or discrimination. We are determined to use this report as an opportunity to redouble our efforts to drive for change. In order to have a truly diverse global research culture, we must understand and address the specific barriers facing members of this global community. Exploring the needs of researchers and their suggestions for advancing DEI is part of our overall DEI strategy and one step towards our ultimate goal: to shape a positive research future for all.’


Notes to editors

1.  Visit this website to read the full report.

About Springer Nature

For over 180 years Springer Nature has been advancing discovery by providing the best possible service to the whole research community. We help researchers uncover new ideas, make sure all the research we publish is significant, robust and stands up to objective scrutiny, that it reaches all relevant audiences in the best possible format, and can be discovered, accessed, used, re-used and shared. We support librarians and institutions with innovations in technology and data; and provide quality publishing support to societies. 

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Maeve Dunne | Sustainability Communications | Springer Nature