Break the norm

Challenging the status quo to tackle social inequalities together

Social and economic inequalities between and within countries are widening due to COVID-19. Now, more than ever, we need social science research to break down barriers, challenge the norms of society and address the divisions worsened by the pandemic.

To build a fairer and more equitable world we need to tackle disparities based on gender, geography, preference and privilege, and bring together thinking across disciplines and sectors to solve real-world challenges. That’s why Break the norm focuses on research that puts societal changes at its heart, challenges the status quo, and commits to making a real impact.

Your research matters. You may be working on related projects or be personally affected by disparities and want to see change. We would love to hear from you on these issues and help research make real change happen.


Time for change report 2021

Understanding global trends in academic culture


How can we close the widening education gap?

Twenty years of educational gains have been lost in just one year due to COVID-19. On International Literacy Day 2021, we highlighted the issues and ways in which we can break the norms in education to create a fairer society, with quality education for all.

Access freely available research   Publish with us   Video transcript

Digital literacy & distance learning

As part of International Literacy Day 2021 we highlighted the challenges people face in accessing quality education across the world. In collaboration with our partners and authors we are making research and resources more accessible, so that it can quickly get into the hands of those who need it. We’re working with partners who are making a difference at a community level of education as well as aligning our goals to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more about how we’re making research and resources accessible.

Perspectives – can academia help tackle social inequalities?

A blog series bringing together global voices on how we can tackle academic and social inequalities together.

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First voices first - opening up access to make voices heard

We’re really passionate here at Emerald about making research that matters as impactful as possible – that’s why we’ve started a new pilot project with The Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL).

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Thought-provoking content

We’ve collated thought-provoking content from around the world that looks at the widening disparities in society and academia and what can be done to address these divisions.

EDI and the university podcast

How is the University of Bradford putting equality, diversity and inclusion into practice within the institution and the region itself?

We speak to Udy Archibong and Nikki Pearce about the role the University can play in social mobility, anti-racism, employability and decolonisation.

Catch up on the replay of our Open Access Week 2021 webinar

'Is the academy ready for an open world?' The lively, stimulating discussion covered barriers to open, predatory publishing and open data, with insights from our expert panellists Dr Danny Kingsley, Dr Sumit Narula and Nick Sheppard.

The Power of Diverse Voices - Publishing, academia and diversity in a time of global change

Vicky Williams, the CEO of Emerald Publishing, joined us this week to reflect on their recent report, The Power of Diverse Voices, which explored diversity and inclusion in global academia and publishing

Impact services

As a publisher, we contribute to a more impact-literate research ecosystem by actively offering impact support to institutions.

Our Impact Services platform has been created in collaboration with innovative thought leaders and impact strategists, all aiming to make 'impact culture' a daily reality for researchers and institutions alike – with useful tools including an impact planner, a skills toolkit and a healthcheck for institutions.

Sign up below and we'll be in touch about arranging a demonstration.

Our goals

Find our more about our goals for breaking the norms of society and challenging the status quo.

See all our goals

Help us make real change happen; publish with us

If you share our ambition to make the world a fairer place, let’s work together to make real change happen.

Fill in your details and we'll get back to you to discuss how we can work together.

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