CSE Board Statement on the Task Force of Science Journals, Poverty, and Human Development

In January 2005, CSE appointed a task force to engage science journals of all disciplines in the effort to combat worldwide poverty and disease, and to establish sustainable paths for human development. The science community has much to offer to antipoverty strategies, such as resources, training, advocacy, information access, and other means of building research capacity (fostering a research culture) and supporting sustainable development. The CSE Task Force on Science Journals, Poverty, and Human Development was organized by Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, and chaired by Paul Bozuwa, president of Dartmouth Journal Services.

The initial activities of the Task Force were held during the CSE Annual Meeting and subsequent half-day symposium in Atlanta in May 2005, and included the following:

  1. Fostering research and publishing capacity in the developing world.
  2. Raising awareness of poverty and the role scientific journals can play in combating its consequences.
  3. Identifying existing programs involving the scientific publishing community and issues pertaining to poverty.

Since its inception the more than 50 dedicated members of the Task Force have achieved the following:

  1. Inventoried Task Force-related efforts and reported them on the Task Force web pages.
  2. In conjunction with the Program Committee, developed sessions for the 2006 Annual Meeting, which was devoted to the theme of “Working Toward a Sustainable, Equitable World,” and developed a follow-up session for the 2007 Annual Meeting that addresses issues of poverty, development, and journals.
  3. Participated in the Global Theme Issue on Poverty and Human Development initiative. More than 170 journals have agreed to publish new original research, review articles, editorials, perspectives, news stories, and other types of articles on the subject of poverty and human development with a common publication or release date of October 22, 2007.
  4. Supported the NIH-funded African Journal Partnership Project. Several members of this project are Task Force members and have participated as speakers in the annual meeting sessions that address issues of poverty, development, and journals.
  5. Began a collaboration with AuthorAID, an initiative to mentor authors from the developing world in preparing manuscripts for local or international publication.
  6. Developed a statement of principles on journal editors’ responsibilities to the developing world.

The CSE Board gratefully acknowledges the influential work of the Task Force and supports the major themes of the Statement on Science Journals, Poverty, and Human Development, specifically:

  • Making content globally relevant,
  • Fostering cooperation between journals from developed and developing countries,
  • Overcoming the global publishing gap, and
  • Diversifying editorial board, reviewer, and author communities.

The Board recommends that editors address the role that science journals can play in reducing poverty and improving human development by thinking globally and acting locally. CSE will follow the ideas put forth by the Task Force in the statement by incorporating these principles into the work of the organization and of its committees. The term of duty for the Task Force has come to an end and Task Force members are strongly encouraged to join CSE committees to ensure that the goals and principles of the Task Force are carried forth in the broad range of CSE activities.

The Board also decided to establish a Task Force on AuthorAID to continue and focus the work that the Task Force has begun on this important initiative to bridge the global publishing gap.

CSE Statement on Science Journals, Poverty, and Human Development
(version 5; December 20, 2006)

Task Force Members