Sandia LabNews

Sandia joins 16 national labs on transgender-inclusive, name-change process for papers


Name changes allow researchers of all genders to own their academic work

Image by Jenny Nuss, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Sandia joins 16 other DOE national laboratories and many prominent publishers, journals and other organizations in scientific publishing in announcing the beginning of a partnership to support name-change requests from researchers on past published papers.

This agreement will allow researchers who wish to change their names to claim work more easily from all stages of their careers. Specifically, the agreement addresses the administrative and emotional difficulties some transgender researchers have experienced when requesting name changes associated with past academic work.

Previously, individual researchers shouldered the burden, administratively and emotionally, of initiating name-change requests with each publisher of their past papers. Many publishers have been independently updating their own policies to address an increasing number of name-change requests.

This partnership aims to streamline these previously ad hoc processes and offers an official validation mechanism to all involved by enabling researchers to ask their respective institutions to help facilitate name changes with the publishers and journals.

“Supporting transgender authors in changing their names on previous publications is a tangible way of supporting our transgender employees,” said Esther Hernandez, Sandia’s chief diversity officer. “It aligns perfectly with our inclusion and diversity goal of ensuring that all our employees are respected, valued and feel that they belong. Additionally, it can minimize the risk of the author appearing less experienced if they don’t get credit for all publications, which might impact job opportunities.”

For researchers of all genders, and transgender researchers specifically, the new process ensures they can rightfully claim ownership of prior work without fear of reprisal under their lived name and be known in their respective fields primarily through their merits as published authors.

As several researchers have attested, having their names updated on previous publications allows them to best represent their full suite of accomplishments. The ability to claim the volume of their work over time has significant implications for maintaining prominence in their area of research and for receiving credit for their academic impact.

The partnership between all 17 national laboratories, major scientific publishers, journals and other organizations represents a commitment to creating a more inclusive culture in STEM fields and STEM publishing. The participating national laboratories will facilitate requests for name changes for any reason, including religious and marital, where supported by the policies in place at their publishing partners.

The 17 national laboratories are pursuing this work in alignment with their respective diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, not as a result of any federal policy changes, and welcome new partners as the effort advances. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is coordinating the effort.

Participating institutions

Publishing organizations

  • American Chemical Society
  • American Meteorological Society
  • American Nuclear Society
  • American Physical Society
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • arXiv
  • Clarivate
  • eLife
  • Elsevier
  • Hindawi Royal Society of Chemistry
  • protocols.io
  • Science Journals – American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • SAGE publishing
  • Scopus
  • Springer Nature
  • Wiley

National laboratories

  • Ames National Laboratory
  • Argonne National Laboratory
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Fermi National Accelerator Facility
  • Idaho National Laboratory
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • National Energy Technology Laboratory
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • Savannah River National Laboratory
  • SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
  • Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Sandia will be developing a process to support name-change requests. In the near future, more information will be available by contacting publications-updates@sandia.gov