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1 December 2009 To Name or Not to Name: The Effect of Changing Author Gender on Peer Review
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Abstract

The peer review model is one of the most important tools used in science to assess the relative merit of research. We manipulated a published article to reflect one of the following four author designations: female, male, initial, and no name provided. This article was then reviewed by referees of both genders at various stages of scientific training. Name changing did not influence acceptance rates or quality ratings. Undergraduate referees were less critical than graduate students or postdoctoral researchers, independent of gender. However, female postdoctoral researchers were the most critical referees: Their rejection rates were the highest and quality ratings the lowest, regardless of the author name provided. Contrary to previous reports in the literature, there was no evidence of same-gender preferences. This study strongly suggests that female postgraduate biologists may apply different expectations to peer review.

© 2009 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
Robyn M. Borsuk, Lonnie W. Aarssen, Amber E. Budden, Julia Koricheva, Roosa Leimu, Tom Tregenza, and Christopher J. Lortie "To Name or Not to Name: The Effect of Changing Author Gender on Peer Review," BioScience 59(11), 985-989, (1 December 2009). https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2009.59.11.10
Published: 1 December 2009
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