The Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC) is pleased to announce the formal launch of the organization, which will enable us to meaningfully engage in the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work that the scholarly publishing/communications ecosystem needs today more than ever. C4DISC began in 2017 as an idea among a group of scholarly publishing organizations who saw a critical lack of diverse voices in the world of scholarly communications and wanted to take collective action to improve this situation. In the ensuing three years, the founding members met regularly to plan and discuss a way forward, and over the past year, with the generous support of Educopia, we engaged in a formal process to decide on the complexities surrounding governance for the organization. We settled on a membership model focused on membership organizations and consortial groups as a way to have the broadest possible impact. Two of the founding member organizations, the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) and the Association of University Presses (AUP), are serving as joint host organizations for C4DISC. Finally, we worked together to establish a joint statement of principles and mission, vision, and values. Our overall goal is to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in scholarly communications while 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.
As the founding members of C4DISC, we are proud of the work we have accomplished so far in creating a vision for future progress and are planning to create several working groups to engage in concrete actions that will improve DEI in scholarly communications. One such group will continue the work started by “Toolkits for Equity: Transforming Scholarly Publishing Communities,” which was conceived at the Triangle Scholarly Communications Institute in 2019 by project leaders 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. These individuals have completed the first toolkit, the Antiracism Toolkit for Allies, which is openly licensed for easy access and reuse and is available on the C4DISC website. We are now looking for volunteers to serve as project leads and members of the working groups who will develop the next two toolkits: the Antiracism Toolkit for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and the Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations. Another working group we would like to launch in these early days will focus on communications and outreach. If you are interested in leading or participating in one of these working groups or one focused on another area of interest to you, please complete a Working Group Application Form.
C4DISC welcomes as members consortial groups such as societies and associations whose membership is composed of individuals, companies, or organizations, and whose mission and membership are related to scholarly communications. We have established a fee structure for dues, and we encourage those who can to pay dues that are in line with the annual revenue tiers. However, if your organization cannot afford that amount because of financial challenges resulting from the global pandemic, we are happy for you to pay what you can for 2020.
Organizations whose business/work is related to scholarly communications and who wish to support the work of C4DISC may join as partners. Examples include publishers, libraries, industry suppliers, etc. Three partnership levels have been established: Bronze ($1000), Silver (up to $2500), and Gold (up to $5000).
Funds will be used to support activities focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in scholarly communications so that we can begin to find concrete solutions to these thorny and persistent problems in our community. We also plan to hire a part-time program assistant who will provide administrative support for C4DISC’s work and activities.
If participating as a member or partner is not possible at this time, your organization can still support C4DISC by joining the more than 40 organizations that have adopted our Joint Statement of Principles. Simply complete this form on our website.
If you are not affiliated with a member or partner organization but wish to be involved, you are welcome to join a working group as noted above. C4DISC also gladly and gratefully accepts donations from individuals, no matter how small.