We are committed to using our networks, brands and voice to champion diversity, equity and inclusion in the research, education and professional communities we work with.
In recent years, we have taken steps across our portfolio, aiming to improve representation and amplify the voices of underrepresented perspectives, and to make our products and services more accessible. We know there is more to be done and we commit to driving progress.
To help us achieve our mission to open doors to discovery for all, we have a strategic framework, outlining where we can make a difference and how we will take action.
Case study: Elevating Black excellence
The contribution made by Black innovators and leaders to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) has not always been widely recognised. In 2021, Springer Nature’s Black Employee Network launched a speaker series, available on YouTube, that aims to showcase Black excellence, especially for those entering the research publishing and STEM sectors. Network organisers interview speakers from partner organisations in areas related to STEM about their career paths, role models, mentorship and diversity.
Case study: Inclusive authorship
Transgender authors can face a lengthy and very public process, often with associated personal and professional risk, when seeking to correct their publication record. In 2021, we announced the implementation of a new policy to enable trans authors and others to correct their names on their published works.
By providing the tools and support to do this silently and safely, we aim to redress these challenges for authors and to further drive forward the elimination of these systemic barriers within the academic community. As part of this policy, biographical information, including pronouns and author photographs, will be corrected as needed to reflect the name change. We have implemented this policy across all of our scholarly journals, magazines, conference proceedings and books.
Championing DEI in the communities we work with
Our strategic focus
How we’ll do it
Examples of our action so far
Share our DEI ambition
Clearly communicate our position and ambition for DEI by developing and widely sharing the principles on which we base our engagement with our communities and business partners.
- DEI communications toolkits to support colleague engagement with key stakeholders in our communities.
- Developed DEI guidelines for educational content and training to accompany them.
Collect and use reliable data on DEI opportunities in our communities to measure, monitor and further our progress by developing best practices of data collection and reporting.
- Collected Nature conferences data to improve representation which so far shows we have made year-on-year progress and have achieved a near 50/50 gender division across events, organisers, keynotes, plenaries and short talks.
- Launched a new survey to understand what DEI means to our global research community.
Inclusive and accessible content
In our published content and events: actively promote DEI by positively profiling the work of authors, researchers and academics from underrepresented groups in all stages of their careers and do so accessibly for all audiences. Promote better research practice through our policies.
- Developed regression testing software Pa11y to design accessible websites and made sure it was free and open source for others to use including Gitlab and Netlify.
For our commissioned authors, peer reviewers and editorial board members: further increase diverse representation by engaging and supporting our external networks.
- Created guidance to help editors integrate DEI considerations when recruiting editors in chief.
Understand DEI in our supply chain
In our supply chain: diversify our publishing supply chain by putting transparent processes in place to create and track new business relationships.
- Started reaching out to some of our largest suppliers to understand more about DEI in our supply chain.
Understand structural barriers
Research and understand structural barriers to equality in the research and education communities we work with, by leveraging our networks, brands, voice and convening power to facilitate the wider sharing and discovery of research, data and perspectives.
- Convened events on equity with our communities, for example our recent Breaking Barriers for Gender Equity through Research which included a new mentoring scheme for participants and introduced journal mentoring programmes to provide insights and training into the peer review, editorial and publishing process.
- Conducted a survey of nearly 5,000 researchers to raise awareness of their experiences and perceptions of diversity, equity and inclusion, and collect their suggestions for advancing DEI. The results will be used to redouble our efforts to shape a positive research culture for all.
Address these barriers with partners
With our communities, societies, policymakers and funders, address structural barriers to opportunity in publishing by forming partnerships and actively working with others (with focus on the Global South and inherited privilege of elite institutions).
Explore more content on DEI in our communities
Read The Source ↗ blog for more DEI resources and commentary.