Fornvännen's Gender Stats Are Pretty Good

Today I proof-read the annual index for Fornvännen, the archaeology journal I co-edit. And I took the opportunity to look at our gender stats for full-length papers. There are 16 of these in this year's four issues. Only 31% have female first authors. An additional 31% have a male first author and at least one female author. So women are involved as authors in 62% of this year's full-length papers. That seems reasonably fair since several papers have only one author, so it would be impossible for each gender to be involved in all of them.

But you might wonder what a female author does to the chance of getting a full-length paper into Fornvännen. So I looked at the stats for March 2014 to now (because it takes 8-9 months from submission to publication). During this period 32% of full-length papers written by men were turned down. Only 9% of full-length papers written by women were turned down. (Here a paper co-written by two women counts as 1 paper by women and a paper co-written by one woman and one man counts as 0.5 paper by women and 0.5 by men.)

This means that although women are submitting fewer papers than men do to Fornvännen, when they do submit they have a greater chance of getting published. This suggests that either Fornvännen has a pro-female bias, or that women are less likely than men to submit poor work. Given what patriarchy does do female self-confidence, I feel pretty safe in assuming that the latter is the case.

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"That seems reasonably fair since several papers have only one author, so it would be impossible for each gender to be involved in all of them."

What a limited view! Surely modern definitions of gender don't reduce that of a single author to a single specific gender! :-)

Though I have a few single-author papers, almost all of mine are married-author papers. :-)

By Phillip Helbig (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink