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Diversity and Inclusion in Peer Review at IOP Publishing

Using gender and geographical data on our authors, reviewers and Editorial Board Members between 2014 and 2018, we have produced a report to capture the current state of diversity and inclusion in peer review at IOP Publishing.

We are ahead of the general global trend for female authorship in physics, with 22 per cent of our papers accepted for publication being from women, compared to a global average of 17 per cent in 2016. Women are generally well represented on our Editorial Boards, most notably in environmental sciences, astrophysics and general physics.

While there are successes, we acknowledge there are still several areas to be addressed:

  • Overall, papers with female corresponding authors have a slightly lower chance of being accepted
  • Authors from the US and Europe are more likely to have their papers accepted than authors from China or India
  • Male reviewers are invited more frequently than female
  • There is an over-representation of invited reviewers from the US and Europe
  • Older journals tend to have less diverse Editorial Boards
  • There is an under-representation of Editorial Board Members from China and India.


We are committed to diversity and inclusion, and the report sets out a number of recommendations both for IOP Publishing and the wider physics community to help accelerate the pace of change with regard to gender and geographical representation.

The Institute of Physics has a strong Diversity Programme with the aim of cultivating an inclusive, sustainable, diverse and vibrant physics community.

We hope through this report and our recommendations we will be able to support the Institute in its mission to create a more diverse and inclusive physics community. Some examples include building more diverse Editorial Boards, training staff and Editorial Board Members on implicit bias, and inviting more women to review.

We look forward to being change agents for better diversity and inclusion within peer review and the broader physics community, and encourage other researchers, societies and businesses engaged with peer review to join us in our mission to create positive change.