ASM Joins National Initiative to Simplify Name-Change Process for Published Papers

July 28, 2021

Building upon the success of ASM's existing name-change pathway, ASM joins initiative to streamline transgender-inclusive name-change process for published work. 

Washington, DC – July 28, 2021 – The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) joins several prominent publishers, journals and other scientific publishing organizations in a partnership with all 17 U.S. national laboratories to support name change requests from researchers on past published papers. This collaboration will strengthen and simplify ASM’s existing pathway for authors to retroactively and confidentially request name changes reflecting marital status, religious conversion, gender identity changes and other reasons. 

“While there has been some interest in ASM’s existing name change pathway, we hope that this collaboration and its streamlined mechanism will remove barriers and empower individuals who wish to change their names to do so,” said Pat Schloss, Chair, ASM’s Journals Committee. 

This agreement will allow researchers who wish to change their names to more easily claim work from all stages of their careers. Previously, individual researchers shouldered the burden, administratively and emotionally, of initiating name change requests with each publisher of their past papers. This partnership streamlines these previously ad hoc processes and offers an official validation mechanism to all involved by enabling researchers to ask their respective institutions to pursue name changes on their behalf directly with the publishers and journals.  

For researchers of all genders, and transgender researchers specifically, the new process ensures they can rightfully claim ownership of prior work without fear of reprisal under their lived name and be known in their respective fields primarily through their merits as published authors. As several researchers have attested, having their names updated on previous publications allows them to best represent their full suite of accomplishments. The ability to claim the volume of their work over time has significant implications for maintaining prominence in their area of research and for receiving credit for their academic impact.
The partnership represents a discipline-wide commitment to creating a more inclusive culture in STEM fields and in particular, STEM publishing. As part of ASM Journals' priority to be more diverse and inclusive, the Journals Committee is also taking several steps to improve the representation of Black and women microbiologists in ASM’s journals. Learn more about ASM’s dedication to inclusive diversity with equity, access and accountability


The American Society for Microbiology is one of the largest professional societies dedicated to the life sciences and is composed of 30,000 scientists and health practitioners. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.

ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications, educational opportunities and advocacy efforts. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.   

Author: ASM Communications

ASM Communications
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