The Role of Gender in Publication inThe Journal of Pediatrics2015-2016: Equal Reviews, Unequal Opportunities

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Abstract

Objectives

To examine whether the gender of corresponding authors, reviewers, and editors led to differential publication recommendations and outcomes for original research articles and invited editorials submitted to The Journal of Pediatrics in 2015 and 2016.

Study design

Names of corresponding authors, reviewers, editors, and editorial writers in The Journal of Pediatrics databases for 2015-2016 were analyzed to determine gender using computer algorithms and Internet searches. Reviewer recommendations and final editor dispositions were stratified by their gender and the gender of the corresponding authors.

Results

Of 3729 original manuscripts, 54.3% had female corresponding authors. Women were the associate editor (40.2% of submissions), guest editor (34.8%), or primary reviewer (37.4%), with no gender difference in editor or reviewer assignments for submissions by female vs male corresponding authors. There were no outcome differences by author gender for manuscripts overseen by female (P = .71) or male (P = .62) editors nor recommendation differences by female (P = .18) or male (P = .71) reviewers. Female editors had a lower acceptance rate overall than male editors (20.1% vs 25.6%; P < .001). Women were statistically less likely to accept and complete the invitation to peer review original articles (34.0%; 2295 of 6743) compared with men (40.0%; 3930 of 9823; P < .001). Women wrote 33 of 107 editorials (30.8%).

Conclusions

There were no differences in reviewer recommendations or editor decisions for original research articles based on corresponding author gender. However, women had fewer opportunities to serve as peer reviewers and editorial writers than would be expected given their representation as academic pediatric faculty.

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