27 April 2021

New Name-Change Policy Supports Greater Inclusion in Publishing

Ethan Vishniac American Astronomical Society (AAS)

The AAS has adopted a new policy that will allow authors to change their names on previously published research. The policy was developed by IOP Publishing, the Society's partner in journals and ebooks, and reflects both organizations' commitment to ensuring an open, supportive, and inclusive research environment.

AAS Journals
The AAS journals, published in partnership with IOP Publishing.

The policy covers changes to names, pronouns, author photographs, and contact details. People change their name for a variety of reasons, including gender identity, marriage, divorce, or a change in religion. In many cases, particularly for trans and non-binary authors, changing names needs to be approached with discretion and sensitivity. Respecting authors' right to privacy is a key tenet, with assurance of full confidentiality and the option to change a name with or without a public notice. The new policy offers a simple and seamless approach, with no requirement to disclose the reason for the request nor the need to provide proof of a legal name change.

We offer the following advice for authors who change their names in the AAS-IOP Publishing publication record:

  • Make sure that you are registered with ORCID, as your unique ORCID number will identify you independent of your name.
  • Note that changing your name with the AAS and IOP Publishing does not guarantee that the change will propagate to the broader universe of article and author databases.
  • Accordingly, we recommend that if you change your name with us, you also contact the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) and any other journals in which you've published articles to ensure that your name change is known more widely.