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Research: Gender bias in scholarly peer review

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In this paper, the authors using public information about the identities of editors and reviewers from the Frontiers series of journals, state their results regarding the underrepresentation of female researchers in the peer-review process, and their observations on the tedency of editors of both genders to operate with same-gender preference. It is also highlighted that there is the need for increased efforts to combat subtler forms of gender bias in scholarly publishing. 

Full Citation

Helmer M., Schottdorf M., Neef A., Battaglia D., (2017). Research: Gender bias in scholarly peer review. eLife 2017;6:e21718 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.21718

Summary 

Peer review is the cornerstone of scholarly publishing and it is essential that peer reviewers are appointed on the basis of their expertise alone. However, it is difficult to check for any bias in the peer-review process because the identity of peer reviewers generally remains confidential. Here, using public information about the identities of 9000 editors and 43000 reviewers from the Frontiers series of journals, we show that women are underrepresented in the peer-review process, that editors of both genders operate with substantial same-gender preference (homophily), and that the mechanisms of this homophily are gender-dependent. We also show that homophily will persist even if numerical parity between genders is reached, highlighting the need for increased efforts to combat subtler forms of gender bias in scholarly publishing.

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https://elifesciences.org/articles/21718

Additional Info

  • I am a: Young scholar, Researcher, Project manager, Funder, Policy maker, Open Science advocate, Publisher, Librarian
  • Domain: Gender Equality, Open Science
  • Type of resource: Papers
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