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Authorship equity guidelines in global health journals
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  • Published on:
    Author equity of access guidelines: at least there has been some progress
    • Marge Berer, Newsletter editor and independent author Not for the purposes of this rapid response.

    I am very glad to see this article and the research that went into it. Although the findings are disappointing on their own, an historical perspective would show they are certainly a sign of some progress compared to the days when no journal at all considered the issue of equity in authorship, let alone in peer review or subject matter. In 1992, Sundari Ravindran and I founded the journal Reproductive Health Matters (RHM). We published an issue twice a year with an editorial and 20-25 articles that included features, original research, commentaries and news summaries. We formed an Editorial Advisory Board and a Board of Trustees so as to become a charity early on, and began listing their names in the journal in 1997. One of the most important policy decisions our joint board meetings made, also around 1997, was related to equity of authorship and equity in other forms of participation, e.g. in peer reviewing. We also began to publish shorter editions of the journal with some the papers, which were translated into Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, and Hindi by editors from the countries/regions represented by those languages.

    The journal, published by Elsevier Science, was open access throughout the time RHM existed, because we raised donor funds to pay them for this. In my opinion, if a journal is not open access, then ensuring equity of access to publication is not possible, because the authors most likely to be given grants to pay for open access are more likely...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.