To date, the majority of authors on scientific publications have been men. While much of this gender bias can be explained by historic sexism and discrimination, there is concern that women may still be disadvantaged by the peer review process if reviewers' unconscious biases lead them to reject publications with female authors more often. One potential solution to this perceived gender bias in the reviewing process is for journals to adopt double-blind reviews whereby neither the authors nor the reviewers are aware of each other's identities and genders. To test the efficacy of double-blind reviews, we assigned gender to every authorship of every paper published in 5 different journals with different peer review processes (double-blind vs. single blind) and subject matter (birds vs. behavioral ecology) from 2010-2018 (n = 4865 papers). While female authorships comprised only 35% of the total, the double-blind journal Behavioral Ecology did not have more female authorships than its single-blind counterparts. Interestingly, the incidence of female authorship is higher at behavioral ecology journals (Behavioral Ecology and Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology) than in the ornithology journals (Auk, Condor, Ibis), for papers on all topics as well as those on birds. These analyses suggest that double-blind review does not currently increase the incidence of female authorship in the journals studied here. We conclude, at least for these journals, that double-blind review does not benefit female authors and may, in the long run, be detrimental.
I’m not the first to come up with a personal story about the importance of open access and I’m not going to tell my story right now. I want to tell two other stories from the past couple of weeks that have reinforced for me why I do what I do every day in advocating for full and immediate open access to research.
The Trouble with Girls: Obstacles to Women's Success in Medicine and Research
In 1856, Eunice Foote had to listen to a man present her paper because of her sex. In 2019, women undoubtedly have greater access to academic training, support, and mentorship than in the mid-19th century. But the ultimate and fundamental sex equality that Foote and her colleagues called for in 1848 has yet to be achieved in medicine, nursing, public health, and the sciences.
A Lexicon for Gender Bias in Academia and Medicine
Mansplaining is the tip of the iceberg Many of the experiences of women in the workforce are so patterned and commonplace they have spawned an emerging vocabulary, which includes terms like mansplaining (explaining something in a condescending or patronising way, typically to a woman), bropropriation (when a man takes credit for a woman's idea), manel (a panel of speakers populated entirely by men), and himpathy (the "inappropriate and disproportionate sympathy powerful men often enjoy in cases of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, homicide, and other misogynistic behavior"). Here, we propose a number of additions to the vernacular, which are likely to remain relevant for the foreseeable future.
Changing Demographics of Scientific Careers: The Rise of the Temporary Workforce
Contemporary science has been characterized by an exponential growth in publications and a rise of team science. At the same time, there has been an increase in the number of awarded PhD degrees, which has not been accompanied by a similar expansion in the number of academic positions.
The Future of Science and Science of the Future: Vision and Strategy for the African Open Science Platform (v02)
The reality and potential of the modern storm of digital data together with pervasive communication have profound implications for society, the economy and for science. No state should fail to adapt its national intellectual infrastructure to exploit the bene ts and minimise the risks this technology creates. Open Science is a vital enabler: in maintaining the rigour and reliability of science; in creatively integrating diverse data resources to address complex modern challenges; in open innovation and in engaging with other societal actors as knowledge partners in tackling shared problems. It is fundamental to realisation of the SDGs.
The challenge for Africa. National science systems worldwide are struggling to adapt to this new paradigm. The alternatives are to do so or risk stagnating in a scientific backwater, isolated from creative streams of social, cultural and economic opportunity. Africa should adapt, but in its own way, and as a leader not a follower, with its own broader, more societally-engaged priorities. It should seize the challenge with boldness and resolution by creating an African Open Science Platform, with the potential to be a powerful lever of social, cultural and scientific vitality and of economic development.
Ideation and Implementation of an Open Science Drug Discovery Business Model
M4K Pharma was incorporated to launch an open science drug discovery program that relies on regulatory exclusivity as its primary intellectual property and commercial asset, in lieu of patents. In many cases and in key markets, using regulatory exclusivity can provide equivalent commercial protection to patents, while also being compatible with open science. The model is proving attractive to government, foundation and individual funders, who collectively have different expectations for returns on investment compared with biotech, pharmaceutical companies, or venture capital investors.In the absence of these investor-driven requirements for returns, it should be possible to commercialize therapeutics at affordable prices. M4K is piloting this open science business model in a rare paediatric brain tumour, but there is no reason it should not be more widely applicable.
University of California Challenges Elsevier over Access to Scholarly Research
University of California System is playing hardball with Elsevier in negotiations that could transform the way it pays to read and publish research. But does the UC system have the clout to pull it off?
Systemic Reforms and Further Consultation Needed to Make Plan S a Success
ALLEA welcomes the ambition of the coalition of European research funders to move the scientific publishing system towards open access; however, broader consultation with all parties is required during the implementation phase.
Scientific Prize Network Predicts Who Pushes the Boundaries of Science
Scientific prizes confer credibility to persons, ideas, and disciplines, provide financial incentives, and promote community-building celebrations. The article examines the growth dynamics and interlocking relationships found in the worldwide scientific prize network.
It's Not a Replication Crisis. It's an Innovation Opportunity
Australian cancer researcher Glenn Begley who raised attention to the fact that many published scientific findings cannot be reproduced ,says that he never described it as a replication crisis, beacuse if one takes the funding from the lazy scientists and give it to really good scientists, it is an innovation opportunity.
In the 21st Century, research is increasingly data- and computation-driven. Researchers, funders, and the larger community today emphasize the traits of openness and reproducibility. In March 2017, 13 mostly early-career research leaders who are building their careers around these traits came together with ten university leaders (presidents, vice presidents, and vice provosts), representatives from four funding agencies, and eleven organizers and other stakeholders in an NIH- and NSF-funded one-day, invitation-only workshop titled “Imagining Tomorrow’s University.” Workshop attendees were charged with launching a new dialog around open research – the current status, opportunities for advancement, and challenges that limit sharing.
The workshop examined how the internet-enabled research world has changed, and how universities need to change to adapt commensurately, aiming to understand how universities can and should make themselves competitive and attract the best students, staff, and faculty in this new world. During the workshop, the participants re-imagined scholarship, education, and institutions for an open, networked era, to uncover new opportunities for universities to create value and serve society. They expressed the results of these deliberations as a set of 22 principles of tomorrow's university across six areas: credit and attribution, communities, outreach and engagement, education, preservation and reproducibility, and technologies.
Springer Nature and Publons Enter Wide-ranging Partnership to Bring Greater Efficiency and Recognition to Peer Review
The burden on the peer review community is increasing as the volume of published research articles grows. Research output is rising exponentially and this is putting pressure on the system, with many academics inundated with requests to peer review. The recent Global State of Peer Review report highlights a growing “reviewer fatigue”.To help address this, Springer Nature and Publons, part of Clarivate Analytics, have announced a partnership to improve the peer review process and enable peer reviewers to receive recognition for their contribution.
Despite the growing interdisciplinarity of research, the Nobel prize consolidates the traditional disciplinary categorization of science. There is, in fact, an opportunity for the most revered scientific reward to mirror the current research landscape.
In academia, assessment of grant proposals is the forward‐looking review, the laying out and checking of your research plan, while peer reviews in journals are the final, consolidatory scrutiny before publication. An important difference between these academic checkpoints and my, admittedly somewhat forced fashionista analogy, is that in academia the two stages of review take place independently of each other.