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PCD’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) is committed to continuously assessing our focus, documenting our accomplishments, and identifying new areas of growth. Keeping PCD in the best position to publish relevant peer-reviewed articles requires that we continue our efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as well as best practices at all levels of operation.

Preventing Chronic Disease’s multicomponent approach to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion to reduce health disparities, advance health equity, and improve population health.

Figure. Preventing Chronic Disease’s multicomponent approach to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion to reduce health disparities, advance health equity, and improve population health. [A text version of this figure is also available.]


Collecting Optional Self-Reported Demographic Data

PCD is committed to fostering a scientific community that supports and benefits from the talents of researchers from a wide range of backgrounds. As part of this commitment, PCD has initiated optional self-reporting of demographic data through our ScholarOne manuscript tracking system. We will collect and measure the composition of PCD’s boards and committees, authors, and peer reviewers for sex/gender, racial, and ethnic diversity. Individuals’ sex/gender, ethnic, or racial identities will in no way be used when evaluating journal submissions; this data will be aggregated and anonymized before being analyzed and reported by ScholarOne to PCD to improve our policies and processes. For details about the storage of and access to these data, please see Privacy Center – Clarivate.

To ensure transparency, the journal intends to report the aggregated and anonymized data on an annual basis in PCD’s Year in Review publication. Through this initiative we hope to identify any gaps in representation on a regular basis and address them to ensure we are systematically working to improve diversity.


PCD Articles, Collections, and Calls for Papers

PCD has published extensively on issues related to health equity, health disparities, and DEI.


10 Ways to Improve Inclusive Language in Scholarly Communications

  1. Avoid using “target,” “tackle,” “combat,” or other terms with violent connotations when referring to people, groups, or communities. Instead, consider terms such as “engage,” “prioritize,” “consider the needs of/tailor to the needs of population of focus.”
  2. Avoid terms such as “vulnerable groups,” “marginalized groups,” “high-risk groups,” “at-risk groups,” “high-burden groups,” “hard-to-reach groups,” or “targeted population.” Instead, switch to people-first language and consider terms such as “populations disproportionately affected,” “groups that have been economically/socially marginalized,” “groups at higher risk of [outcome],” “groups experiencing disproportionate impact,” “population of focus,” or “communities that are underresourced.”
  3. Reporting on race and ethnicity (from AMA Guidance for Reporting Race and Ethnicity in Research Articles):
    • The Methods section should include an explanation of who identified participant race and ethnicity and the source of the classifications used (eg, self-report or selection, investigator observed, database, electronic health record, survey instrument).
    • If race and ethnicity categories were collected for a study, the reasons that these were assessed also should be described in the Methods section. If collection of data on race and ethnicity was required by the funding agency, that should be noted.
    • Specific racial and ethnic categories are preferred over collective terms, when possible. Authors should report the specific categories used in their studies and recognize that these categories will differ based on the databases or surveys used, the requirements of funders, and the geographic location of data collection or study participants. Categories included in groups labeled as “other” should be defined.
    • Categories should be listed in alphabetical order in text and tables (see Table 1-14, Reporting Race and Ethnicity, in 4.1.10, Guidelines for Preparing and Submitting Tables).
    • Race and ethnicity categories of the study population should be reported in the Results section.
  4. Specific racial and ethnic categories are preferred over collective terms, when possible. CDC’s Health Equity Guide identifies the following preferred terms:
    • American Indian or Alaska Native persons
    • Asian persons
    • Black or African American persons
    • Hispanic or Latino persons
    • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander persons
    • White persons
    • People who identify with more than one race/ethnicity; people of more than one race/ethnicity

    Note that Black and White are capitalized.

  5. Avoid using the terms “disabled,” “differently abled,” or “handicapped.” Also do not use the term “vulnerable” when describing people with disabilities. Instead, switch to people-first language and consider such language as “people with disabilities/a disability,” “people/persons who are deaf or hard of hearing,” or “people who are blind or have low vision,” “people/persons with an intellectual or developmental disability,” or “people/persons who use a wheelchair.”
  6. Avoid using the terms “homosexual,” “transgenders,” “transgendered,” “transsexual,” “biologically male/female,” “genetically male/female,” or “hermaphrodite.” Instead, refer to persons or communities (eg, transgender persons) as LGBTQ (or LGBTQIA or LGBTQ+), lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, pansexual, asexual. Note: Use LGBTQ community (and not, eg, gay community) to reflect the diversity of the community.
  7. Language should not perpetuate a sex or gender binary and should allow for inclusive terms such as intersex, nonbinary, and nonconforming.
  8. Images in social media, websites, and other scholarly communications should focus on movement toward health equity, empowerment, and a collective approach to resolving issues. Images of positive health-related activities and people working together are recommended. People of color should be proportionately represented in appropriate images. However, images should avoid unintentionally messaging that efforts to address disparities are the sole responsibility of the people experiencing the disparities. For people with disabilities, consider using positive photos of people with disabilities in scholarly communications, including social media.
  9. Avoid terms like “seniors,” “the elderly,” “the aged,” “aging dependents,” “frail,” “old-old,” “young-old,” and similar terms that connote a stereotype. Instead refer to “older persons,” “older people,” “older adults,” “older patients,” “older individuals,” “persons aged 65 years or older,” or “the older population.” Use “older adults,” a term less likely to connote discrimination and negative stereotypes, when describing individuals aged 65 years old or older.
  10. Avoid labeling people with their socioeconomic status, such as “the poor,” “poverty-stricken,” “the unemployed,” or “poor people.” Instead, switch to people-first language and consider the following: “people with lower incomes,” “people/households with incomes below the federal poverty level,” “people with self-reported income in the lowest income bracket” (if income brackets are defined), and “people experiencing poverty” (do not use “underserved” when meaning low SES). “People with lower levels of socioeconomic status” should only be used when SES is defined.


DEI Statement by Authors

(Adapted from Cell Press)

PCD encourages authors to include a short statement on DEI in the Acknowledgments section of the manuscript. This statement would be similar to statements about conflicting interests, author contributions, data availability, and funding, but it would highlight elements of the study design and/or author characteristics that are relevant to DEI. It is designed to give authors a venue to express ways in which their work, their research group, or both are contributing to helping science become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

Examples of considerations to include in your statement:

  • We worked to ensure sex and gender balance in the recruitment of participants.
  • We worked to ensure racial and ethnic or other types of diversity in the recruitment of participants.
  • We worked to ensure that the study questionnaires were prepared in an inclusive way.
  • One or more of the authors of this article self-identifies as a member of an underrepresented ethnic minority group in science.
  • One or more of the authors of this article self-identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • One or more of the authors of this article self-identifies as living with a disability.
  • One or more of the authors of this article received support from a program designed to increase the representation in science of members of racial and ethnic minority groups.
  • While citing references scientifically relevant for this work, we also actively worked to promote sex and gender balance in our reference list.
  • Our author list includes people who live or work where the research was conducted.

Other Resources

The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors’ affiliated institutions.