Equality and equity to advance trusted research

Ensuring everyone benefits from scholarship and scientific advancement

DEI in Practice

STM and its members have a long history of convening discussions focusing on DEI, including:


Research4Life (R4L):  Established in 2002, R4L provides researchers in 125 lower- and middle-income countries, spanning 11,500 institutions, with free or low-cost access to over 203,000 leading journals, books, and databases across various disciplines. This initiative is made possible through partnerships with five UN agencies — WHO, FAO, UNEP, WIPO, ILO — as well as Cornell and Yale Universities. Additionally, with the support of STM, R4L engages more than 200 international publishers and 4,000 academic and professional association partners.  

R4L’s Strategic Plan, released in 2022, lays out a transformation of the R4L model from a one-way donation system to one of reciprocal engagement to enable more diverse and rich scholarly exchange. Its aim for 2030 is to significantly increase participation of researchers from lower-income countries in the global research community. To support this shift, STM and R4L partnered on developing a white paper, ‘Achieving an Equitable Transition to Open Access for Researchers in Lower and Middle-Income Countries’. 

At the same time, R4L is dedicated to enhancing the capabilities of local research networks through the Country Connector program. This initiative focuses on building robust communities of evidence users, with comprehensive monitoring and evaluation strategies detailed in their Annual Report.   

Resources STM has provided or collaborated on with others include the “Minding the Gap” conference, which focused on advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within academic publishing. The webinar “IDEA in Scholarly Peer Review,” conducted in partnership with ALLEA (European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities) and GYA (Global Young Academy), was another notable initiative. Additionally, STM’s Early Career Publishers Committee has compiled a range of resources to enhance understanding and address DEI challenges within the publishing community and our own publishing practices. 

STM and its members are actively working through the Joint commitment for action on inclusion and diversity in publishing, and the Coalition for Diversity & Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC)