C4DISC Update: Increasing Communication and Expanding Communities

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The Coalition for Diversity in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC) was founded in 2017 by 10 trade and professional associations representing organizations in the scholarly publishing industry to discuss issues of diversity and inclusion within the industry. CSE was one of these founding organizations. Since its inception, the Coalition has created and posted best practice toolkits and guidelines, along with providing other training resources and events for members and partners.

C4DISC held its inaugural Community Meeting on January 24, 2024. This meeting was aimed at those in publishing organizations with a remit of DEIA in their roles, along with C4DISC’s members and partners. The meeting reviewed C4DISC’s activities in 2023 and plans for 2024. This call was recorded and can be accessed at

During 2023, C4DISC strategic priorities included formulating a content strategy around toolkits and other guidelines, increasing communications and outreach by hiring a part time communications staff member, and establishing a Community of Practice (CoP) for all those interested in networking with others regarding DEIA issues. 

The CoP virtual meetings are held on the second Thursday of every other month to anyone working in scholarly communications organizations and are focused on sharing resources, learning from each other, creating best DEIA practices in organizations, and exploring opportunities for participating in cross-industry initiatives. More than 218 members have registered for the CoP. The meetings are informal; they are not recorded, and no minutes are taken. The first call on August 8 with 70 participants did not have a particular topic; discussions centered on what participants hoped to gain from meeting with others and ways to hold themselves accountable for meaningful change. The discussion topic for the second CoP call on October 12 focused on use of inclusive language and visuals. The third call, on December 15, focused on psychological safety in the workplace; attendees shared multiple examples of what workplaces have done well and where improvements need to be made. 

Two new toolkits were in development throughout 2023, including a Toolkit for Disability Equity and a Guide on Building for DEIA in Peer Review. The latter should be especially interesting to CSE members as it will contain practical suggestions for editors regarding the actions they can take to diversify editorial boards and reviewer pools. Both toolkits are planned for launch in early 2024.

On February 6, C4DISC hosted its first 2024 CoP call on the topic of recruitment and retention. Those who participated discussed hiring and onboarding staff and partners/vendors, including editors, authors, and reviewers, and ways employees can support new colleagues. Future CoP meetings and topics will be announced on the C4DISC website. 

Also in 2024, C4DISC will publish the Workplace Equity Project results and develop plans for creation and implementation of future toolkits. Also planned is a new Member and Partner DEIA Showcase webinar series.

For information about participating in C4DISC activities (sharing suggestions for toolkits, participating in working groups, volunteer activities, letting C4DISC know about your DEIA events), access the C4DISC website ( To join the CoP or to invite colleagues to join, access the form at


Patricia K Baskin, MS, Senior Director and Executive Editor, American Academy of Neurology Publications. Patricia wrote this piece on behalf of the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications.