Equality

Mind the gender gap

20. 4. 2017 | A recent study, published in eLife, found gender disparities in scientific peer review. A Nature News article summarises the results.
Gender gap
Bild vergrößern
(© iStock / FotografiaBasica)


Gender gap

Women are underrepresented in academia: Roughly equal numbers of both genders embark on a scientific career, but fewer women receive professorships, or publish as first authors. A skewed gender ratio apparently also applies to peer review: A new study, published in eLife, finds that gender bias influences the choice of reviewers for academic papers. The researchers, led by Markus Helmer (formerly at the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen), examined studies submitted to 142 Frontiers Journals between 2007 and 2015. In total, the data encompassed papers handled by 9 000 editors and reviewed by 43 000 scientists. The investigation found that male editors preferentially selected male reviewers, while female editors displayed a weaker gender bias (which was also only limited to a few individuals).


While interesting, the dataset also has limitations: The researchers only considered active reviewers, but not those that were asked to review but had to decline. Therefore, it is possible that the bias appears stronger than it is in the initial stage of inviting reviewers.


A full analysis of the eLife study can be found on the Nature News website, here.


  (© AcademiaNet)

Original article

Additional articles on this topic

Source

Testimonials

  1. Read what our members say about AcademiaNet.

No more excuses!

  1. Please download the brochure "No more excuses" and read more about female experts in Europe, and about AcademiaNet.

News

  1. SNSF will run AcademiaNet

    More women in scientific leadership positions - this is the goal of AcademiaNet, the European database listing outstanding women researchers. As of January 2020, it will be run by the SNSF.

  2. AcademiaNet at a crossroads – a look back and future perspectives

    The Robert Bosch Foundation (RBS) has founded AcademiaNet and funded the platform from the beginning. They now have to end the funding at a time when AcademiaNet starts to gain momentum. We spoke with Dr Katrin Rehak-Nitsche, Senior Vice President for Science and Research at the RBS, about the situation.

  3. "We are missing out on a lot of potential…”

    Interview with AcademiaNet member Eva-Maria Feichtner

  4. Narcissism: not only an individual failing

    Interview with AcademiaNet member Agnieszka Golec de Zavala

  5. Film and television tell children who can be scientists

    Roles on the screen largely reinforce the message that scientists are white men.