If the publishers of scientific journals everywhere enforced a universal code of ethics — if you violate the code, you cannot publish your scientific work — systematic bullies and harassers would be eliminated from their fields. It’s a proposal that demands consideration.

I’m not sure how you can hold out hope for an institution such as a science journal while at the same time abandoning hope for institutions such as individual academic departments or colleges/universities to do so. I find it highly doubtful that scientific journals would ever do this without pressure from the academic community.

And thus, I think it stands to reason this has to start with academics as people, not the academy as an institution. If a majority of academics in a given field simply boycott journals that do not conform to decent standards of conduct, then it puts pressure on those journals to embrace standards that no longer give platforms to harassers and abusers. No astrophysical journal, for instance, would be very successful if 80% of astrophysical researchers simply refused to submit to it and if 80% of institutions cancelled their subscriptions to it.

It’s one thing to recognize the positive influence scientific journals could have and to hope it could happen, but it’s quite another thing to organize and take action to make it happen. The latter is what’s needed.

Just the facts: Writer. Gamer. Feminist. Educated in Astrophysics. Professional Gambler. Student of Language. Satanist. Anarchist.

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