Toward decolonizing knowledge production in global public health: results of a multi-level intervention to improve equity of authorship at a global health journal
Keywords:global health, authorship, peer-reviewed journal, decolonization, decolonization of knowledge, academic journals, equity
Over a six-month period in 2020-2021, the Global Health: Science and Practice (GHSP) journal implemented a multi-level strategy to increase meaningful equity and inclusion of authors from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in knowledge production. This strategy consisted of changing its editorial policy and making its editorial staff and board more inclusive and diverse. GHSP staff carried out an evaluation of this effort to assess whether three authorship metrics that it prospectively tracks had improved in terms of inclusion of authors from LMICs. A before-after analysis of all articles submitted to the journal at baseline (2019–2020) and after the journal changed its authorship policy guidelines (2021–2022) showed that the percentage of all authors from LMICs increased from 38% to 52%; the proportion of first authors from LMICs increased from 14% to 32%; and the proportion of articles with any LMIC author increased from 66% to 81%. A gap in acceptance rate persisted between articles with an LMIC first author and an HIC first author. Further strategies to improve the acceptance rate by authors in LMICs are under consideration.
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