I won’t have time to post anything before the edition of Berry Go Round coming next, but I wanted to share with you readers an interesting post about gender and publishing in science brought up at Living the Scientific Life. Whatever the reason is, scientist women are apparently suffering a real bias during the peer-review process. This is not a claim, this is unfortunately factual.
I would really like to emphasize that it does not need the scientific community to be sexist for this to occur, for unconscious biases have already been documented in other situations (e.g. with regard to ethnicity). Also, the counter-argument that peer-review is made by women as well isn’t a valid objection, for the exact same reason (even female reviewers can be biased against ‘woman’ manuscripts).
But go read the post.
There is a comment I would like to add, though it has nothing to do with gender at all, regarding a question that’s asked over there: why do reviewers need to know the identity of the authors of the papers they review?
As a reviewer, I don’t really need to know the authors’ identity. It’s nevertheless one of the first things I check during a review. It doesn’t change my way to make the review, but it does change the way I am suggesting the editor a decision about the paper. That is, I will probably be more tolerant for a manuscript whose first author is a student or a young scientist. That’s a little bias, but as a young scientist too, I’m fully aware of the consequences my review may have on a colleague’s life.