Representation and Editorial Boards

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Building an Open Editorial Board Anand Balasubramani, Journal Development Editor, American Society for Microbiology Adrianna Borgia, Managing Editor, American Society for Microbiology

Not Checking a Box: Establishing DEI as a Foundation of the American Urological Association's Flagship Journal Jennifer Regala, Director of Publications/Executive Editor, American Urological Association

The American Society for Microbiology instituted and built an Open Editorial Board for their newest journal, Microbiology Spectrum (Spectrum). An Open Board means that any microbiologist from across the globe can fill out a form to apply to join the Editorial board. Traditionally, Editorial Boards are built by the journal’s leadership reaching out to their network of colleagues to join the Board, however, this invariably results in biases, from regionalism to difficulty in fostering scientific diversity. An Open Board is welcoming and naturally builds diversity, equity and inclusivity (DEI). It also encourages individuals who are genuinely interested in contributing to the journal. ASM partnered with the Editorial Leadership of Spectrum in building an Open Board, and has collectively reviewed more than 2000 applications. Spectrum’s Board of almost 400 Editors run laboratories based in 49 different countries; the Board is close to being gender-balanced and includes representation from historically underrepresented minorities. As ASM struggled to get reasonable applicants from certain parts of the world, they launched a mentoring program to help scientists from these regions develop the skills needed to become Editors at Spectrum.

Adrianna Borgia is the Managing Editor of Microbiology Spectrum and Microbiology Resource Announcements at the American Society for Microbiology where she oversees the development and daily operations of the journals. Prior to that, she was a Production Team Manager at Elsevier, working with society-owned titles in the health & medical sciences fields. She also serves on the Advancement Committee for SSP and is Co-chair, North American Planning Committee for ISMTE. Outside of publishing, Adrianna loves running, embroidery, and watching the Phillies (even if they’re losing).

Anand Balasubramani is the Journal Development Editor for Microbiology Spectrum and Microbiology Resource Announcements at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). An immunologist by training, Anand Balasubramani has contributed to the development of journals at Cell Press and Science. At the ASM, he led the launch of their sound science journal, Microbiology Spectrum. Currently, he oversees a portfolio of open access journals at ASM and is interested in how publishers can promote diversity, equity and inclusion in their editorial and peer review processes.

The Journal of Urology, as the flagship journal of the American Urological Association, is a leader in the publication of global research to advance urological health. In 2022, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, with the support of the Editorial Board, launched the HEAD (Health Equity and Diversity) Table. This group, which included a smaller subset of the full Ed Board, was charged with looking at DEI from two different perspectives: health disparities and inequities in research and how to improve DEI in urological leadership and Editorial Board representation. Priorities include examining Editorial Board diversity, utilizing peer review experts with expertise in DEI and health disparities, collecting peer review data and reporting on it frequently, programmatic and ongoing DEI training for the Editorial Board and Editorial Office, using social media as an ongoing tool to engage discussion on DEI and JU, and reassessment of the aims and scope of the journal. The team's to-do list is ongoing and ambitious, and at no point will the work be considered done. This presentation will look at how this effort came together, its progress, and how it will be an important and permanent part of the fabric of the journal.

Jennifer Regala is the Director of Publications/Executive Editor at the American Urological Association, where she oversees the scholarly publications program, which includes two peer-reviewed journals, the organization’s newsletter/membership digital ecosystem, annual meeting-related publications, and a CME product. Currently, Jennifer is managing the launch of JU Open Plus, a new Gold Open Access journal that will begin publication in January 2023, and overseeing the implementation of open peer review for The Journal of Urology®, the AUA’s flagship journal. She serves as Co-Chair of SSP’s Marketing and Communications Committee and the SSP-DC Regional Subcommittee. She has worked in scholarly publication for more than 20 years at Cadmus, Sheridan, and the American Society of Plant Biologists. Jennifer’s personal motto is: “It’s free to be nice and to comb your hair.”