Report lifts the lid on diversity in peer review at IOP Publishing

13 Sep 2018 Simon Davies

To mark Peer Review Week 2018, IOP Publishing has produced a report looking at diversity and inclusion in the company’s peer review process.

The open report used gender and geographical data on IOP Publishing authors, reviewers and Editorial Board Members between 2014 and 2018.

It sets out several recommendations both for IOP Publishing and the wider physics community, to help accelerate the pace of change regarding gender and geographical representation.

Kim Eggleton, Senior Managing Editor at IOP Publishing, co-wrote the report. She said: “We know there are still inequalities in peer review across the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

“We also know science gets better with diversity. We want our contributors to reflect the diversity of the physical sciences community, and it’s part of our role as publishers to ensure this happens.”

The report highlights areas where IOP Publishing is doing well and makes recommendations on how the company can improve in others. It found with 22 per cent of papers accepted for publication in IOP Publishing journals were from women, compared to a global average of 17 per cent in 2016.

Women were also generally well represented on IOP Publishing’s Editorial Boards, most notably in environmental sciences, astrophysics and general physics.

Ms Eggleton said: “We found several areas where we still have a lot of work to do. Most notably, we found an over-representation of invited reviewers from the USA and Europe, and a stronger likelihood that USA and European authors’ papers would be accepted than authors from China or India.

“We are putting plans in place to address this and more, including building more diverse Editorial Boards, training staff and Editorial Board Members on implicit bias, and inviting more women to review.”