Clearing the Pipeline? Gender and the Review Process at the American Political Science Review
by Marijke Breuning, University of North Texas, Benjamin Isaak Gross, Jacksonville State University, Ayal Feinberg, University of North Texas, Melissa Martinez, University of North Texas, Ramesh Sharma, Data Analytics Consultant and John Ishiyama, University of North Texas
Journals in political science include fewer articles by women than one might expect on the basis of their presence in the profession. Is this because submissions by female authors are less likely to survive the review process?
Our study compared proportion of submissions authored by women with the proportion of published articles by women, using data from the American Political Science Review. We found no evidence of gender-bias in the review process: the proportion of articles by female authors entering the pipeline as submissions is comparable to their proportion of published articles. However, women are less likely than men to submit their work. Common explanations revolve around women’s greater presence in subfields like comparative politics, or their use of qualitative or interpretive methodologies, which are presumed to be less likely to survive the review process. Our evidence does not support these explanations.
We did find, however, that more than half of the submitting authors was affiliated with research universities. Other work has shown that women are more often employed at teaching-oriented institutions, where faculty have less time and resources for research productivity. In other words, the gendered pattern of academic employment affects the gendered pattern of submissions and acceptances.