#Diversity recap: Single-, Double-blind or open review?

Dear followers,

I am so sorry for the late recap this week, but it was my birthday (yay!) and life got in the way. But here we are. Last week we discussed: Would double-blind or open peer review help with diversity?

We came with some short questions to make our discussion flow easier, but I was not as good as Ian to moderate them in order this time!

So the issue is really complicated because it’s field-specific.Per review process dependent on how large and complex the field of study is. People from your field know your research and would be able to guess who the authors are. But they never really know, so, is it still helpful? So probably there is no answer that would fit all journals. But everybody agreed that it is pretty unfair for one side to know the other and not vice-versa. Single-blinded review protects the reviewers, but also hides them.

In an ideal world everyone should be able to speak up freely, be honest, and make meaningful critiques. But that also involves personalities. Some people may be able (or even more capable of) doing critiques when both parties are know to each other. Also, people would probably be more throughout with the revisions if they were all open. But what if you are a PD, in search for a job? Would you stand-up and critique the pope of your field? There may be some negative impact on reviewers; especially early career women and POC. And retaliation can come in other ways– if I reject your Science paper, will you block my grant? Maybe reviewers should identify themselves post-tenure. Won’t solve vendetta issue, but could protects early career professors.

We didn’t come up with an answer to the question, because probably there is not a single answer than would solve all our Diversity issues on peer-reviewing. But it was a nice discussion! Thanks to all that participated and hope to see you all next Monday (10/05/2015, 2pm EST).

Participants: Doctor_PMS, Emily Klein, Ian Street, Caroline VanSickle, Biochem Belle, Ruthie Birger, Kelsey Jordahl, Sarah Manka, Jaquelyn Gill, Luna Centifanti.


Would double-blind or open peer review help with diversity?

As scientists we all know that a good part of our professional success is “measured” by our publications. Not only the number, but also the quality of the research, as well as the impact factor of the journal it is published. Peer-reviewing is the method of judgment utilized by most of the scientific journals out there. However, everybody knows that there is bias involved in reviewing. This week on #DiversityJC we are going to discuss the following article:

Double Blind Peer Review

Hilda Bastian (@hildabast) also did review of the literature on the different methods of peer review & how there’s still a lot of uncertainty, especially surrounding how it affects diversity of what’s published.

The most common method of peer reviewing is the single-blind review. This type of peer review keeps the identity of the reviewer anonymous, but the name and affiliations of the authors are open to the reviewer. This allows the reviewer to evaluate a paper without any influence from the authors. In a double-blind peer reviewing system, both the identities of the reviewers and the authors remain anonymous. The other alternative would be a total open review, where identities remain public to both sides. But some questions remain:

Q1: Is double-blind peer review a realistic alternative?

Q2: Could open or double blind peer review mitigate bias?

Q3: Would an open peer-review system be more effective than the single-blind one?

Q4: Can an open peer-review system bring valuable critique to the authors?

Q5: Single-, double-blind or open peer review, which one brings more diversity?

Join our #DiversityJC discussion, next Monday Sept 7th, 2pm EST!


Emily S. Klein

Ian Street

Sexism in academia, yes or no? #GaslightingDuo vs #AddMaleAuthorGate

Interesting that earlier this month there was a discussion on twitter about a study from researchers at Cornell University that found preference to hire women for tenure-track positions 2:1 on STEM track.http://www.pnas.org/content/112/17/5360.abstract. Really?

Fig. 1.

The take home message from this article is that there is NO SEXISM in academia, and all we have been listening and discussing for so long is just in our minds. You can read more about the repercussions of this article in the storify by Karen James and under #GaslightingDuo or #StillaProblem

Then a few days ago, Boom! A super sexist peer-review suggests a female author to seek male co-authors to “Improve” it.

As you would predict, this caused a massive response on twitter and all media (And also a lot of jokes under #AddMaleAuthorGate). So what do you think about it? Why it seems they are trying to get rid of the gender bias problem by pretending it doesn’t exist? Join our next #DiversityJC and let’s discuss it – this following Monday, May 4th, 2pm EST.