Recommendations on the use of inclusive language

Editorial CSIC is committed to precise, unbiased and intersectional research, that is, sensitive to the complexity and breadth of cultural, biological, economic and social contexts. For this, it is essential that CSIC publications use an inclusive language free of prejudices associated with race, functional diversity, gender, sexual orientation, beliefs, ideology or socioeconomic status.

Thus, it is inappropriate to offer information about people that is irrelevant to the study, as it is to ignore the differences and specific characteristics of the subjects when they exist.

The use of labels to designate a group of people, as if it were a group alien to society, is also inappropriate since it contributes to perpetuating stereotypes. Therefore, all those expressions that suppose the stigmatization or discrimination of groups of people will be avoided.

The negative meaning in condescending expressions and terminology is, in the specific case of people with functional diversity, a trend that should be avoided.
Regarding race, comparisons between groups, essentialisms or reference to "minorities" are discouraged and inappropriate.

Recommendations on the use of non-sexist language

Editorial CSIC recommends the use of non-sexist language in texts submitted for publication.

Editorial CSIC, aware that not all texts are equally viable to adapt certain linguistic formulas to the demands of an egalitarian language, trusts in the care of the content in favor of equality beyond merely morphological aspects. However, as stated in the Guide for a non-sexist language of the language (UAM, 2019) , adopted by the CSIC, given that language has resources and mechanisms to express what it wants to tell, "whoever produces the message can choose between some forms or others to express themselves in an inclusive and non-sexist way, so that language is an instrument for change” (p. 9).

Thus, although the Royal Spanish Academy recognizes the masculine as a non-marked gender for collective mentions, more and more formulas are demanded that make the role of women and non-binary people visible. This does not mean that the use of the generic masculine is inappropriate or always discriminatory. Its use is perfectly valid and moves away from a sexist interpretation if, for example, we also name the person or persons referred to with that term.

Editorial CSIC is therefore committed to inclusive linguistic formulas, which can be used as long as they do not modify the meaning of the expression.

The proposals presented here are not the only ones, although they are the most frequently used. In any case, it is not necessary to choose a single option, but different solutions can be alternated throughout the text. Moreover, it is advisable to choose in each case the one that best suits the grammatical and content circumstances.

One of the keys to detecting whether a word or expression could imply sexism is subjecting it to the so-called inversion rule , which consists of replacing it with the opposite gender. If it turns out to be inadequate, then it would be advisable to replace it with a more inclusive one.

The most recommended linguistic formulas to avoid a sexist use of language are listed below:

  • If the names of the women or men referred to are known, it is convenient to use the grammatical gender that represents their sex.
    The teachers in charge of classroom 3 [Alicia García and Matilde Muñoz] will begin the evaluation at fifteen hours.
  • In the event that it is a group of women and men, both the feminine and the masculine will be used, if it is known that they are mostly women; or the masculine and the feminine, if it is known that they are mostly men. If the degree of participation is unknown, you can start with either of the two formulas and use them alternatively, or decide on alphabetical order ( students and male students, or doctor and female doctor ).
    The ministers and the ministers of Pedro Sánchez swear their positions today. [Yes, there are mostly women]

    The Rectors of the Universities that have signed the II Agreement meet today at the UIMP. [There are no rectors].

    The vice-deans and the vice-deans will report on the development of the study plans. / The manager of each Department will be in charge of closing the minutes [Alphabetical order]

    University graduates / University graduates / University graduates / University graduateswith a record that exceeds 9 average grade, they will receive an invitation to the informative talk on excellence. [Alternate throughout the wording]
  • The use of generic or epicene nouns ( person, subject, individual, character, member, etc.), collective ( citizens , students, team ) and abstract nouns ( archaeology by archaeologist, authorship by author, direction by director ) is recommended. /a ).
    Instead of: The full performance must be attributed to the owner or the owner of the right.
    We can say: The full performance must be attributed to the person who owns the right.

    Instead of: The regulations addressed the students and explained their rights and obligations.
    We can say: The regulations were addressed to students and explained their rights and obligations.

    Instead of: The director addressed the entire staff via email.
    We can say: The management addressed all the staff by mail.
  • Periphrases and phrases also favor more egalitarian formulas ( researcher staff instead of researcher; or holder of a scholarship instead of fellow ), as well as pronouns without a gender mark: neutral forms compared to pronouns that are they are accompanied by a masculine or feminine article ( el que or la que by whom ); generic formulas —pronouns without a gender mark— instead of indefinite pronouns (instead of one or one , it would be convenient to use someone or nobody ). Adjectives without a gender mark are also preferable (for example,different, instead of distinct and distinct; illustrious, distinguished, excellent, celebrated, instead of prestigious or prestigious; any or each, instead of all , etc.).
    Instead of: The undersigned.
    We can say: Who signs below.

    Instead of: All students can enter the contest.
    We can say: Any student can participate in the contest.
  • You can use impersonality, the omission of the subject, the use of the second person singular ( you or you ) or the first person plural, or the imperative form of the verb. It is also advisable to replace passive verbs with active verbs or impersonal forms with se .
    In lieu of: Students can cancel registration before October 23.
    We can say: Registration can be canceled before October 23.
  • In the cases in which the particle that accompanies the name determines the gender, it is proposed: 1) to eliminate one of the two articles (the one of the gender that occupies the second place), although this option cannot be applied in the case of use invariable nouns; and 2) instead of splitting the determiners, adjectives and participles with which the noun agrees, you can resort to proximity agreement:
    Instead of: The teachers will be summoned and summoned in order of delivery of the documentation. We can say: Teachers
    will be summoned in order of delivery of the documentation. Instead of: The teachers who participated in the contest will be summoned in order of delivery of the documentation. We can say: The teachers who participated in the contest will be summoned* in order of delivery of documentation.

Other formulas that are also used:

  • The splits. Although it is the best known option, its application must be prudent, since its abuse can cause the language to lose economy and reading, agility. In the event that they are unavoidable, it is advisable to alternate the feminine and masculine forms in the first place throughout the text:
    Researchers must submit the documentation within the deadline.
    The @ symbol , slashes, and hyphens should not be used. Nor does Spanish grammar accept non-binary formulas such as the substitution of -o/-a by the suffixes -e or -x.

  • explanatory appositions. In the case of an unavoidable use of the generic masculine, it is convenient to use these additions to clarify its universal meaning. As in the case of splittings, their use can make reading difficult and they can even be redundant when this clarification is unnecessary:
    Patients, women and men, may request specialized assistance.

For more information and examples, see the Guide to a non-sexist language of the language (UAM, 2019).