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elife-analysis

This is the code and data used to conduct the analysis and produce figures for the paper entitled "Gender and international diversity improves equity in peer review" (abstract pasted below). The data included in this page has been anonymized, removing the names of authors, reviewers, and editors, as well as removing other potentially identifiable information such as countires of origin and date/times of submissions and decisions. Some of the analysis in the main R notebook requires non-anonymized data—a "checkpoint" has been provided in the code such that you can skip past these code and load the non-anonymized data to conduct the remaidner of the analysis.

If you have questions regarding the code and the anaysis, please direct them to myself, Dakota Murray, at dakota.s.murray@gmail.com.

The centrality of peer review for the scholarly communication system has been challenged by disparities in publication outcomes across gender and nationality. We examine the peer review outcomes of 23,879 initial submissions and 7,193 full submissions that were submitted to the journal eLife between 2012 and 2017. Women and authors from nations outside of North America and Europe are underrepresented both as gatekeepers (editors and peer reviewers) and last authors. Overall, the acceptance rate for manuscripts with male last authors is significantly higher than for female last authors. We found a homophilic interaction between the demographics of the gatekeepers and authors in determining the outcome of peer review: that is, gatekeepers favor manuscripts from individuals of the same gender and from the same country. The gender disparity is greatest when the team of reviewers is all male; mixed-gender gatekeeper teams lead to more equitable peer review outcomes. Manuscripts are more likely to be accepted when reviewed by at least one gatekeeper with the same national affiliation as the corresponding author. Our results indicate that gender and national homogeneity is related to differences in the outcome of scientific peer review. We conclude with a discussion of possible mechanisms influencing these outcomes, directions for future research, and policy implications.