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      Ladies, Gentlemen, and Scientific Publication at the Royal Society, 1945–1990

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          Abstract

          This article extends the scholarship on gender and scientific authorship by exploring women’s involvement in editorial decision-making. Prior to 1945, women scientists could submit their work to the journals of the Royal Society, but they were excluded from all editorial and evaluation roles: such gate-keeping roles were reserved for Fellows of the Society. We draw upon the Society’s archive to examine the experiences of female authors, referees, and communicators in the period after women were admitted to the Fellowship. We investigate the involvement of women in anonymous roles (e.g. as referees), and in publicly-visible positions of editorial responsibility (e.g. as communicators, and committee chairs). We reveal that women were better represented in both types of roles in the 1950s than in the 1970s and 1980s. These findings are pertinent to current debates about bias in the peer review system, and the gendering of academic reward and recognition structures.

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          Most cited references 47

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          Bias in peer review

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            Gender, Family Characteristics, and Publication Productivity among Scientists

             M. Fox (2005)
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              Gender bias in scholarly peer review

              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. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.21718.001
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2056-6700
                Open Library of Humanities
                Open Library of Humanities
                2056-6700
                27 June 2018
                2018
                : 4
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Art History, University of St Andrews, UK
                [2 ]School of History, University of St Andrews, UK
                Article
                10.16995/olh.265
                Copyright: © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                Self URI (journal-page): https://olh.openlibhums.org/
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