ACCESSIBLE AND INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE POLICY
This inclusive language policy guidelines of the Journal are crafted with the aim of aiding inclusion rather than exclusion, and we consider this policy as a dynamic document that remains open to further development and evolution over time. We encourage authors to engage in discussions on this matter as they submit their work to the Journal.
In our context, accessible language is characterised by clarity and simplicity, making it comprehensible not only to the social work professional, but also to readers from diverse disciplines and those for whom English is not their first language. To promote accessibility, authors are encouraged to avoid the excessive use of technical jargon or unnecessary terminology, overly long and convoluted sentences, the frequent use of uncommon acronyms and abbreviations, reliance on idiomatic expressions, and sweeping statements. In this context, this type of statements refer to broad, generalised statements that make overarching claims or assumptions without considering nuances, exceptions, or specific details, and without a proper citation. These statements often rely on generalisations and can be overly simplistic. They may not accurately represent the complexity or diversity of a particular topic or situation. Instead, authors should prioritise precision and specificity, substantiate comments and cite properly, employ the active voice whenever feasible, and provide explanations for technical terms when necessary, ensuring that reader from various scientific backgrounds and contexts can comprehend their contributions.
Inclusive language is essential as it recognises and values diversity, demonstrates sensitivity to differences, and conveys respect for all individuals. This principle is particularly significant in the social work discipline, where words and descriptors must reflect support for diversity and respect. The use of inclusive language ensures that no individual or group is portrayed as superior to another based on factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, health status, age, socio-economic status, or any other social characteristic. By employing inclusive language, we can prevent the perpetuation of assumptions and biases from one group towards another.
Authors are strongly encouraged to thoughtfully consider the relevance and appropriateness of including descriptors related to race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, health status, age, or gender in their manuscripts. When such descriptors are deemed pertinent and valid, authors should adhere to the following guidelines to ensure respectful usage:
- Avoid the use of stereotypes, slang, or cultural assumptions within the manuscript.
- Provide only relevant data that offers context regarding participants, including social determinants of health and well-being, such as socio-economic status, education, neighbourhood and physical environment, employment, social support networks, and access to healthcare.
For comprehensive guidance on reporting race, ethnicity, culture, sex and gender, disability, impairment, and health status, please consult the resources provided by the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications. These resources will assist authors in adopting inclusive language practices that promote diversity, equity, and respect in article submissions.