Data from: Author-suggested reviewers: gender differences and influences on the peer review process at an ecology journal
Fox, Charles W., University of Kentucky
Burns, C. Sean, University of Kentucky
Muncy, Anna D., University of Kentucky
Meyer, Jennifer A., British Ecological Society
Published Mar 21, 2017 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Fox, Charles W.; Burns, C. Sean; Muncy, Anna D.; Meyer, Jennifer A. (2017). Data from: Author-suggested reviewers: gender differences and influences on the peer review process at an ecology journal [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.37312
Peer review is the primary method by which journals evaluate the quality and importance of scientific papers. To help editors find suitable reviewers, many journals allow or require authors to suggest names of preferred and nonpreferred reviewers. Though authors should know best who is qualified to review their papers, they also have a strong incentive to suggest reviewers that they expect to review their paper positively.
In this study, we examine the reviewers that are suggested as preferred and nonpreferred by authors, the use of these author suggestions by editors, and the influence of author suggestions on the peer review process and outcomes at the journal Functional Ecology. In particular, we examined how gender of the participants (author, editor and reviewer) influences the role of preferred reviewers in the peer review process.
Even when not required by the journal, most authors suggest preferred reviewers, but few suggest nonpreferred reviewers. Most author-preferred reviewers are male, but the proportion of women among author suggestions increased over the 11 years, from a low of 15% in 2004 to a high of 25% in 2014.
Male and female authors did not differ in how likely they were to suggest preferred reviewers, but the proportion of women among author suggestions was higher for female authors (~28%, averaged across years) than for male authors (~21%). Women that were suggested as author-preferred reviewers were more likely to be selected by editors than were men suggested by authors.
There was no evidence that editor gender, seniority or length of service as an editor for Functional Ecology affected the probability that they used author suggestions. Of reviewers invited to review, those that were author-suggested were more likely to respond to the editors' review invitations but were not more likely to agree to review.
Most strikingly, author-preferred reviewers rated papers more positively than did editor-selected reviewers, and papers reviewed by author-preferred reviewers were much more likely to be invited for revision than were papers reviewed by editor-selected reviewers. This difference was not influenced by the gender of the participants in the process.
Suggesting preferred reviewers benefits authors because preferred reviewers rate papers significantly more positively than do editor-selected reviewers, improving the chances that a paper will be published. Journals and journal editors should recognize that preferred reviewers rate manuscripts differently than do editor-selected reviewers, and be aware that this difference can have large effects on editor decisions.
Fox et al_Review data 2004-2014_one line per paper
This is an anonymized version of the dataset used for most of the analyses in the associated paper. Manuscript ID numbers are random and the sort order within years is random; manuscript ID numbers can be used to link the three files uploaded for this paper. Editor ID is also randomized. Columns that could allow the dataset to be de-anonymized, such as editor seniority and editor years on the editorial board, have been deleted. The dataset includes one line per manuscript. This file (combined with the others uploaded for this manuscript) allows recreation of most but not all analyses in the published manuscript.
Fox et al_Detailed reviewer data_one line per reviewer
This file contains lists data for each reviewer selected to review for the journal, one reviewer per line. Manuscript ID numbers are random but the manuscript ID numbers can be used to link the three files uploaded for this paper.
Fox et al_ Author details 2010-2014_one line per paper
This dataset includes author details for manuscripts submitted 2010-2014, one manuscript per row. Manuscript ID numbers are random but ID numbers can be used to link the three files uploaded for this paper. Columns that could allow the dataset to be de-anonymized have been deleted.
Fox et al_Author details 2010-2014_one line per paper.xlsx