Journal editors & editorial boards
Women continue to be significantly underrepresented in major philosophy journals – even relative to their representation amongst philosophy faculty. The reasons for this are unclear, especially since (a) at least some such journals actually publish a greater proportion of papers by women than the proportion of papers submitted by women, and (b) many journals now operate with double- or triple-anonymous review.
This makes it very hard to know what kinds of journal policies and procedures might improve the situation, and indeed might suggest that at least a large part of the problem (namely submission rates) lies outside the control of the journals themselves. Nonetheless, we encourage journal editors and editorial boards to do what they can in this regard.
Sample policies, reflections and other resources
- If you are considering an explicit editorial policy on reviewing, take a look at the one from Cognition. You might also consider having an explicit policy of reviewee-reviewer anonymity, e.g. by explicitly asking reviewers to decline to review if they know who wrote the paper.
- We have heard of journal editors being very inflexible when requests are made by authors who are on maternity leave for extensions to R&R submission deadlines. We recommend a publicly visible policy of granting an automatic twelve-month extension for maternity or parental leave (12 months being the statutory entitlement for maternity leave in the UK). You might also consider having a policy (again, publicly visible) of granting requests for extensions for things like caregiving responsibilities and illness.
Some data and discussion on submission and acceptance rates:
- Lucy O’Brien and Adrian Moore (the editors of Mind), Diversity and Philosophy Journals: Diverse Aims at MIND, Blog of the APA
- Eric Schwitzgebel at The Splintered Mind
- Kieran Healy, Gender and Citation in Four General-Interest Philosophy Journals, 1993-2013
- Justin Weinberg at Daily Nous
- Nicole Hassoun, How to Improve the Situations for Women in Philosophy, Blog of the APA
Two discussions of the possible reasons for low submission and acceptance rates for women in value journals:
- Meena Krishnamurthy, “Proportional Representation of Women in Elite Ethics Journals: To Quota or Not to Quota?” Public Affairs Quarterly2 (2017): 107-24.
- Jennifer Saul, “Why so few women in value journals? How could we find out?”, Public Affairs Quarterly2 (2017): 125-41. / open-access version