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GSA’s Journals Unite to Accelerate New DEI Guidance

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
December 14, 2021

Congratulations to the editorial leadership of GSA’s journals for taking a very proactive step in advancing GSA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). They have published a new editorial, jointly appearing in the current issue of all of GSA’s journals, that offers guidance to all authors and reviewers moving forward — while also pledging to nurture the growth and recognition of scholars from groups that have been underrepresented in the journals.

This piece was authored by all GSA editors-in-chief: Suzanne Meeks, PhD, FGSA (The Gerontologist), Steven M. Albert, PhD, MS, FGSA (Innovation in Aging), Rozalyn Anderson, PhD, FGSA (Biological Sciences section of The Journals of Gerontology, Series A), Judith L. Howe, PhD, FGSA (Gerontology & Geriatrics Education), Derek M. Isaacowitz, PhD, FGSA (Psychological Sciences section of The Journals of Gerontology, Series B), Brian Kaskie, PhD, FGSA (Public Policy & Aging Report), Jessica A. Kelley, PhD, FGSA (Social Sciences section of The Journals of Gerontology, Series B), David G. Le Couteur, MBBS, PhD (Biological Sciences section of The Journals of Gerontology, Series A), and Lewis A. Lipsitz, MD, FGSA (Medical Sciences section of The Journals of Gerontology, Series A).

Recognizing that inequity and bias have become ingrained from the societal level down to even the operations of such journals themselves, the editors “therefore commit to encouraging cutting-edge, conceptually driven work that addresses and aims to overcome inequity in health, mental health, social status, and justice in late life, particularly those well-documented inequities arising from age, socioeconomic status, racial, ethnic, sex, and gender bias and discrimination, geography, and intersections among them. We further commit to building and maintaining diverse author, reviewer, and editorial cohorts that will nurture this scholarship in the years to come.”

The guidelines described in the editorial will be implemented in the instructions to authors and reviewer checklists of the journals in early 2022. Each journal will adopt additional approaches as needed. For example, the Medical Sciences section of The Journals of Gerontology, Series A outlines steps it will be taking in a separate editorial co-authored by Lipsitz, Roland J. Thorpe, Jr, PhD, FGSA, and Michelle C Odden, PhD, FGSA. Be on the lookout for a GSA webinar on this Series A program in early 2022.

I ask our prospective authors and reviewers to closely study the new guidelines that will be issued – they contain actionable steps that you can achieve at the individual level to make a difference in achieving a more just society.

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