Gender inequality and self-publication are common among academic editors

Fengyuan Liu, Petter Holme, Matteo Chiesa, Bedoor AlShebli, Talal Rahwan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
62 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Scientific editors shape the content of academic journals and set standards for their fields. Yet, the degree to which the gender makeup of editors reflects that of scientists, and the rate at which editors publish in their own journals, are not entirely understood. Here, we use algorithmic tools to infer the gender of 81,000 editors serving more than 1,000 journals and 15 disciplines over five decades. Only 26% of authors in our dataset are women, and we find even fewer women among editors (14%) and editors-in-chief (8%). Career length explains the gender gap among editors, but not editors-in-chief. Moreover, by analysing the publication records of 20,000 editors, we find that 12% publish at least one-fifth, and 6% publish at least one-third, of their papers in the journal they edit. Editors-in-chief tend to self-publish at a higher rate. Finally, compared with women, men have a higher increase in the rate at which they publish in a journal soon after becoming its editor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-364
Number of pages12
JournalNature Human Behaviour
Volume7
Issue number3
Early online date16 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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