APPLYING THE GENDER LENS TO GEOSCIENCE RESEARCH, THE ROLE OF SCIENTIFIC PUBLISHERS
Assessment for opportunities for career progression in geoscience (in common with all areas of academia) has a strong focus on the publication and citation history of an individual. Several studies, however, have shown that the publication record has a bias against women in terms of the number of papers published and citations generated (e.g. Budden et al., 2007; Larivière et al., 2013).
Scientific publishers can and must play a role in driving gender equality in research, ensuring that these key indicators of academic success are fair and equitable for all and reviewing editorial policies to encourage gender diversity and inclusion. Elsevier has embarked on a range of initiatives designed to push the boundaries in this area.
Editing an international journal or being a member of the editorial board are prestigious positions and can give visibility to a researcher in any given field. Therefore the gender balance of editorial boards has been identified as an area of primary focus. By consciously selecting more women and increasing the visibility of editorial boards, more female role models will be formed in the academic world. Currently 15% of Editors and Board Members are female across Elsevier’s Earth Science journals. The aim is to improve this ratio through attentive editorial recruitment to better represent the geoscience community served by these journals.
Other initiatives include improving the gender diversity of speakers at Elsevier conferences, incorporating unconscious bias into peer review training and leveraging Elsevier´s large datasets to produce analytics and reports on gender, such as ‘Mapping Gender in the German Research Area (2015)’. Elsevier is also partnering with key collaborators such as Gendered Innovations, the Gender Summits and the Earth Science Women’s Network.