Research4Life launches a new committee to address equity for researchers in LMICs

Published: jueves 7th septiembre 2023
Category: News

In a significant move towards fostering equity and inclusion in the academic and research landscape, Research4Life is establishing an Equity Committee. The Research4Life Equity Committee intends to bring about a transformative change in the representation and participation of researchers from lower and middle income countries (LMICs). By addressing the existing disparities and fostering inclusive practices, this initiative seeks to enrich the global research landscape with diverse perspectives and insights from all corners of the world.

Addressing the underrepresentation challenge

LMIC researchers face multifaceted challenges in gaining equal representation and participation in the global research community. One glaring issue is the limited presence of these researchers as authors, reviewers, and editors in international academic journals. Additionally, they are often marginalized when it comes to assuming key roles, such as speakers, committee members, and leaders in academic and professional societies.

Furthermore, research from LMICs tends to be lesser-known, read, and cited, leading to a lack of diverse perspectives and knowledge in the global academic exchange. This knowledge gap hampers comprehensive understanding and hinders progress in various fields of study.

Objectives of the Equity Committee

  • Review published research on equity for researchers after which engage with the Research4Life user community to understand issues and blockers to representation and inclusion  
  • Develop guidelines and action plan for full representation across editorial and society roles 
  • Identify recruitment best practices for key roles in publishing and society activity  
  • Source case studies of successful practice, e.g waived member fees or travel grants for LMIC researchers
  • Develop outputs for community engagement, for example a Campaign for Equity for researchers in underrepresented regions 
  • Review and discuss options for transparency, clarity and alignment/standardization of different forms of OA and recommend good practices

Overarching governance structure  

We are seeking two co-chairs, one drawn from our user community in LMICs and another from our publisher/society partner community. The group will meet every six weeks and report on progress to the Executive Council meeting through the co-chairs and output at the General Partners Meeting (GPM). Committee representatives should be drawn from users and partner societies/publishers, encompassing a diversity in regional and international perspectives. The committee will liaise with and draw in engagement from other stakeholder groups working on one or more of the same objectives e.g. STM, OASPA, C4DISC, Joint Commitment to ensure collaboration and reduce duplication. The key deliverables will be agreed by the Committee.

If you would like to express an interest in joining the committee, please contact Sarah Phibbs [email protected] or Kimberly Parker [email protected], by 22 September. The Executive Group will make the final decision about committee membership to ensure an equitable and inclusive balance of stakeholders.