It had to happen. The Journal of Interpersonal Violence appears to be the first to require authors to discuss what their findings mean for “diversity.” Here is the journal’s requirement:
Journal Policy on Addressing Diversity in Manuscripts
Effective January 2016
Effective January 2016 JIV will require that every manuscript include a discussion about the implications of the study questions, underlying research literature, methodology, and analysis or results in terms of diversity. Diversity concerns are not a criteria for publication but must be addressed. The nature of the discussion and amount of space devoted to the discussion is the responsibility of the author(s).
JIV understands diversity to include all aspects of human differences such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, geography, ability, and age.
Diversity as a core value embodies inclusiveness, mutual respect, and multiple perspectives and serves as a catalyst for expanding knowledge and practice with all human beings. While science seeks knowledge that can be generalized, it must appreciate that specific findings, while important in understanding the unique experiences of individuals or groups, are not necessarily applicable to all.
I’m not sure what to say. Indeed, I’m almost speechless...almost. At one level, the journal is free to do what it wishes and authors are free to go along if they so choose. At another level, this requirement for publication will clearly bias research findings and broader research discussions. How, exactly, does a chosen methodology, say an experiment or quasi-experiment, affect “diversity concerns?”
To be kind, maybe the journal equates “diversity” with variance or a broader recognition that effects may vary across subpopulations. Even if this is the intention, subgroup analyses are just that--tests of effects across different groups. Such tests have nothing to do with “diversity."
I’m not going to blast this journal’s decision. Instead I’m going to use it as another example of what happens when scholars live in a bubble and prioritize certain agendas above other agendas--even the agenda of science.
John Paul Wright and Matt DeLisi
Professors of Crime and Criminology