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The editors in chief of Child Development and Child Development Perspectives, respectively, have publicly resigned from their positions, citing concerns about “eroded editorial autonomy” and “marginalized and silenced dissenting voices of various leaders” within the Society for Research and Child Development, which publishes the journals. “It is our observation that SRCD is being severely mismanaged, resulting in a toxic environment in which dissenting voices are forced out or otherwise marginalized, with the effect of endless turnover among both those who work for the Society as well as those who selflessly provide vital service to it,” the resigning editors, Glenn Roisman and Judith Smetana, wrote in an open resignation letter to the society’s executive director, Saima Hedrick.
In one example of such alleged behavior, Roisman and Smetana accused society “leadership” of withholding an academic’s memo calling for greater transparency regarding Child Development’s review policies and procedures. In another example, the departing editors accused society leaders of trying to silence their science director.
Hedrick, the executive director, said via email that “we are limited by law in what we can say related to personnel and contractor (the editors) matters. What I can tell you, however, is that SRCD has always been and continues to be deeply committed to upholding the scientific integrity of our journals and the editors’ role in the scientific review process. We deeply regret that the editors chose to resign. We hold them each in high esteem.”
The society’s governing council sent out a separate letter to members affirming its commitment to editorial integrity and fostering an “inclusive, respectful environment.”