Gender Differences in Manuscript Submission Rates for a Leading Journal in Political Science

The editors of the American Journal of Political Science conducted a study on article submissions by focusing on the gender of the researchers submitting manuscripts. The study analyzed manuscripts submitted to the journal between January 1, 2017 and October 31, 2019.

During the period under examination, 4,916 authors submitted manuscripts and received final decisions from AJPS. Women accounted for 1,210, or 25 percent, of the submitting authors. Of the 2,672 manuscripts on which an editor issued a final decision, 945, or 35 percent, had at least one female author.

Some 65 percent of all manuscripts were authored by a single male or a group of men. Twenty-one percent of all submissions had authors that were both men and women and only 14 percent were by either a single woman or a group of women.

There were 962 manuscripts that were submitted by a single male author. In contrast, there were only 276 manuscripts that had single woman author.

While there was a huge gender gap in the submission of manuscripts, articles with men and women authors were accepted for publication at roughly the same rates. But due to the imbalance in manuscript submission rates, 84 percent of the articles that were accepted for publication had a least one male author.

The authors conclude that “it’s incumbent upon us to encourage female scholars to submit their work to AJPS and other top journals. It’s our responsibility to let them know that their work is just as competent and just as important as that of their male colleagues. We are not so naïve as to believe that encouragement is all it takes to close the gender gap in rates of submission. That women are still not similarly situated with men in important resources (tenure track jobs, research support, family obligations) poses obstacles that encouragement alone cannot surmount. But while the discipline continues to address these resource gaps, we can change the face of tables of contents by calling attention to the myths about women not succeeding when they submit their work.”

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study

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