The frustrated convince astronomy journal to adopt trans-inclusive name change policy

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INTRO: A group of united astronomers have successfully convinced Europe's leading astronomy journal Astronomy & Astrophysics to institute a name change policy for transgender people and others. "It's really frustrating that such a large organization needed an initiative from outside to adopt a more inclusive policy," says astronomer Emily Hunt.

On 18 February 2021, Science editor Jake S. Yeston published the blog post called "A new name change policy." It announced the possibility for authors to change their names in previously published papers across the Science spectrum. The blog post stated: "… recent outreach by, and on behalf of, transgender scientists has impressed upon us the importance of respecting authors' privacy and autonomy in correcting the scientific record."

Yeston here refers to the growing discourse initiated by the trans community to develop a policy to allow scientists to change their name on published publications. One example is the Nature blog post by Theresa Jean Tanenbaum called "Publishers: let transgender scholars correct their names." The motivation behind this movement is that people who transition often adopt a new name, resulting in papers prior to the transition bearing the old name they no longer associate with their identity.

In the past couple of months, more journals followed the same path as Science, including Nature. However, that doesn't hold for Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A). "That was really disappointing, as A&A is one of Europe's largest astronomy journals," says Emily Hunt, Ph.D. candidate at Heidelberg University in Germany... (MORE)

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