The US national laboratories will pursue name change requests with academic publishers on behalf of their researchers. The new agreement means that individual scientists at the national labs who have changed their names will no longer have to negotiate with publishers themselves to update their previously published work.

Many academic publishers have recently established name change policies to help authors who have changed their names retain credit for their work without undermining their identities. While many people change their names for a variety of personal reasons, the issue is particularly acute for transgender researchers who often face being outed by their publication history or having to dissociate themselves from prior work and losing credit for it. The American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry both announced name change policies last year.

Now, a new partnership between all 17 US national labs and 17 major publishers means that researchers’ institutions will pursue name change requests on their behalf, rather than researchers having to contact each publisher individually. The partnership aims to address the emotional difficulty many researchers experience when trying to claim their work.

‘This change eliminates an enormous burden on researchers, emotionally and administratively, to correct the record,’ said Lawerence Berkeley National Laboratory’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer Lady Idos. ‘Our partnership on this is a continuation of the efforts that many national labs have initiated to create a more welcoming and inclusive work environment for trans researchers. I encourage others to join us.’