October 6, 2020Scott Warren
Please join me in celebrating the creation of an important new organization, the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC). The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) is a founding member and C4DISC both closely aligns with the LPC’s values and multiplies the impact of our strategic plan! Formally launched September 15, 2020, C4DISC was created to accelerate the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work the scholarly publishing/communications ecosystem sorely needs. C4DISC began in 2017 as an idea among a group of scholarly publishing trade and professional associations, including the LPC, who all saw a critical lack of diverse voices in their professional arenas and decided to take collective action. The founding members worked hard to make their vision a reality and last year, with the generous support of Educopia (LPC’s parent organization), tackled the complex challenge of developing governance for a new organization (in many ways echoing LPC’s creation way back in 2014!)
To have the broadest possible impact it was decided C4DISC would target membership organizations such as the LPC as well as consortia, rather than individual universities or libraries. Two founding members, the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) and the Association of University Presses (AUP), generously agreed to serve as joint hosts. After governance was settled, the founding members established a joint statement of principles and mission, vision, and values statements. As a founding member, the LPC has a seat on the C4DISC steering committee (rotating LPC Board members will represent the LPC). Like the LPC, C4DISC is committed to valuing differences, welcoming diverse perspectives, learning from different communities, making space for marginalized voices, eliminating barriers, and serving as allies to our colleagues who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
Now that C4DISC is firmly established, next steps include creating several working groups to begin turning the shared vision into action. One group will continue work started by Niccole Leilanionapae‘aina Coggins, University of Virginia Press; Gisela Fosado, Duke University Press; Jocelyn Dawson, Duke University Press; and Melanie Dolechek, Society for Scholarly Publishing, who created the “Toolkits for Equity: Transforming Scholarly Publishing Communities” initiative at the 2019 Triangle Scholarly Communications Institute. Their first toolkit, Antiracism Toolkit for Allies, is openly licensed and on the C4DISC website. C4DISC is seeking volunteers to help develop the next two toolkits: the Antiracism Toolkit for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and the Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations. Another working group will focus on communications and outreach. Members of the LPC community would make fantastic additions so if you are interested in leading or participating in any working groups please complete the Working Group Application Form.
Another thing LPC members can do is advocate for their home libraries/organizations to sign on as C4DISC supporters. Organizations who wish to support C4DISC may join as partners. Examples include publishers, libraries, industry suppliers, etc. Three partnership levels exist: Bronze ($1000), Silver (up to $2500), and Gold (up to $5000) and funds raised will support activities focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in scholarly communications. C4DISC also plans to hire a part-time program assistant to provide administrative support for C4DISC’s work and activities, thus furthering its capacity. C4DISC also gladly and gratefully accepts donations from individuals, no matter how small.
Finally, if participating formally as a C4DISC partner is not possible for your home institution, LPC members can still support C4DISC by urging their organization to join the more than 60 organizations that have so far adopted C4DISC’s Joint Statement of Principles. Simply complete this form.