(Credit: Jenny Nuss, Berkeley Lab)
Hello, my name is…
On July 28, 2021, all 17 National Laboratories along with many prominent publishers, journals and other organizations have announced an initiative in support of researchers wishing to change their names on published research outputs.
Working with our partners, the National Laboratories will provide support to their researchers by implementing name changes on their behalf. This will reduce the burden on researchers to initiate name changes for their research output.
We will implement name changes for any reason, in accordance with the policies at individual partners. The initiative is transgender-inclusive and will allow researchers of all genders to own their academic work.
Who to contact…
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory should contact email@example.com for further information and to initiate this process. Researchers at other National Laboratories should contact their local representative, usually the Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer.
- The following individuals have access to firstname.lastname@example.org (if preferred, either of these can be contacted directly instead):
Joerg Heber, RCO, Research Integrity Officer
Christine Higgs, RCO, Research Integrity & Policy Manager
Lado Idos, IDEA, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer
List of Participating Institutions
Publishing Organizations & Services
American Chemical Society (ACS) Policy
American Institute of Physics (AIP) Publishing Policy / FAQ
American Meteorological Society (AMS) Policy
American Nuclear Society (ANS) Policy
American Physical Society (APS) Policy
American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Policy
Canadian Science Publishing Policy
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) Policy
Public Library of Science (PLOS) Policy
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Policy
SAGE Publishing Policy
Science Journals – American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Policy
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Policy
Springer Nature Group Policy
Ames National Laboratory
Argonne National Laboratory
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Idaho National Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory
National Energy Technology Laboratory
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Sandia National Laboratories
Savannah River National Laboratory
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
What are the reasons for changing my lived or preferred name in prior publications?
Authors may need to change their name on already-published articles for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
- To reflect gender identity (available gender marker selections and lived name may differ from federal documents)
- Married name variation
- Religious practice
- Lived names in multiple languages (Heriberto vs. Ed)
- Lived names in different communities (home vs. field/work)
- Survivors of abuse and/or trafficking
How do I change my name on prior research outputs?
- Contact email@example.com
- Ask us how to start the process. You can choose to have us assist you or if you prefer to contact publishers on your own, we can provide you with helpful guidance.
What documentation is required to change my name on prior research outputs?
- No legal documentation is required to prove the name change; however, you are required to complete and sign the Berkeley Lab Name Change request form to initiate the process. This form provides Berkeley Lab with the necessary authorization to act on your behalf. Request forms will be treated as confidential, and only used to fulfill name change requests.
- To request a form, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- The following individuals have access to your email request (if preferred, either of these can be contacted directly instead):
Joerg Heber, RCO, Research Integrity Officer
Christine Higgs, RCO, Research Integrity & Policy Manager
Aditi Chakravarty, IDEA, Interim Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer
What does the change look like for research articles? Will the update be done silently?
- When publishers update an author name on research articles, the article will be recreated with the author information and any other requested changes (pronouns, biographies, etc.) implemented. Publishers will usually not issue correction notices to the paper, so the change is done silently. However, publishers may inform the corresponding author of a paper and/or inform all co-authors.
- Contact us at email@example.com if you have questions about the practice for specific publishers.
- Some publisher policies can be found on this page under the List of Participating Institutions.
How is the researcher kept in the loop with the publisher?
- We will copy you into each email with a publisher.
What elements of a prior publication can be updated?
- Names (including first, middle, last, and/or initials)
- Pronouns, salutations, initials and/or shorthand references to the author in the body of the manuscript (including captions, acknowledgments, dedications, biographies, and author notes)
- Email addresses (when the email address reflects the author’s name)
- In-paper self-citations and reference lists
Other related changes may also be possible, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
What updates of a prior publication can not be made?
Publishers may be able to implement the following changes as part of their regular corrections workflow, but not in relation to a name change.
- Requests to update email addresses on prior publications when not in relation to a name change
- Changes to scientific content, minor adjustments to text, corrections beyond those indicated by name change
- Requests for affiliation changes to prior publications
- Changes to author names in printed books
- Posthumous changes
- Use of symbols or characters outside of the publisher’s standard
publishing character set, which is based on the Latin alphabet
- Inconsistent presentation of initials or name misspellings
Publishers may not be able to address changes to content beyond research articles. The following updates may be out of scope for the current version per the publisher’s policy, although many publishers are actively working to find solutions to each of these issues for additional content that they host, such as:
- Meeting Abstracts
- Other publisher web content outside of journals (such as blog posts)
- Citations outside of the publisher’s ecosystem; due to the complexity of citation networks, they cannot guarantee that other publisher and third-party tools will have updated citations. However, all of the participating organizations in the National Laboratories Name Change Initiative For Published Research Outputs are working toward making this possible.
Will my name be updated in databases such as Web of Science or Scopus?
- Publishers may not always be able to update the indexing of articles that they have changed, although they will update Crossref. We will contact indexing services such as Web of Science and Scopus with name changes to research articles. Let us know if other indexing services are of relevance in your research field.
Apart from research articles, where can I change my names on other research outputs, and where is that not possible?
- We have agreements with the preprint server arxiv and the protocols publisher protocols.io to implement name changes in their content. We might be able to implement name changes on other research outputs such as preprint servers, journals not covered by our agreements, indexing services, data repositories and others. However, such changes might not be possible in all circumstances.
Will my account with the publisher be automatically updated to reflect my updated name?
- No. You will need to log into their site and update your name there. To update membership information with academic societies, contact the relevant membership department to make a request.
Will the co-authors of a previously published paper be notified of a name change?
- This practice may vary from publisher to publisher. Contact us for details about specific publishers. However, if you prefer you can request the publisher notify your co-authors.
Are there any limits as to how long after original publication a publisher is able to accommodate name changes?
- This depends on the publisher’s policy. Most publishers have not established any date before which they will not consider changes.
What versions of the published article will be updated?
- Both the HTML and PDF versions of the article will be updated.
Will my publications appear in search results if someone searches for my prior (previously published)name?
- This depends on the publisher’s policies but to support name changes anonymity, prior name searching will not be enabled on most publisher’s websites. Some publishers are exploring the feasibility of offering prior name searching to authors in the future, which, when the author opts in, would enable searches using an author’s prior name even if that name no longer appears in the published article.
How long will it take for the change to be effective?
- We cannot guarantee an expected turnaround time. There are other factors to consider such as the publisher’s process, the number of documents affected, age of documents affected, and challenges that the publisher may need to troubleshoot and solve associated with the process. We will work closely with the publisher and researcher to communicate expectations and updates. Ideally, we would like the turnaround to be 1-2 weeks but we will continue to update this FAQ after we have gained experience to get a better understanding of the average turnaround time.
Do I need to change my name legally to change my name on prior publications?
Is it possible to change my name on patents?
- Yes. Contact us at email@example.com to explore that option.
Does Berkeley Lab have any resources related to gender identity and transition in the workplace?
Berkeley Lab News
July 28, 2021