Use of double-blind peer review to increase author diversity

Two recent New York Times articles highlight the “Mystery of Missing Women in Science” (Angier 2013) and ask the question, “Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?” (Pollack 2013). The underrepresentation of women is an issue that scientists, educators, and policy makers continue to tackle. While there have been large gains toward equality over the past decades, there is also hard evidence of continued disparities. Gender inequalities occur in hiring, funding, collaborations, academic patents, job satisfaction, and citation rates. There are more male senior scientists and thus fewer female role models at upper levels, and there is a striking wage gap between men and women in leadership positions. This situation does not only reflect a gender gap in the upper tiers of science leadership; in many countries, minority and international scientists are also missing (e.g., NSF 2013). Such disparities can feed a subtle but inherent bias about the value and contributions of women, minorities, and international scientists. There are obviously many factors that might be associated with these trends. The question is, what can we do about it?

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