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Why are women underused in the JECH peer review process?
  1. M del Carmen Davo,
  2. C Vives,
  3. C Álvarez-Dardet
  1. Campus Sant Vicent Raspeig, Alicante University, Alicante, Spain
  1. Correspondence to:
 Carmen Vives
 Campus Sant Vicent Raspeig, Alicante University, Alicante 03080, Spain; carmen.vivesua.es

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The quality of peer review is an essential part of the scientific process1 and nowadays its evaluation is an emergent area of research.2 The gender perspective is however, still rarely integrated in this kind of study.

There is empirical evidence about sex bias in choosing referees. Women are still less required by editors than men in peer review processes.3,4 As other studies have shown, male reviewers took significantly longer to return manuscripts than did their female counterparts and male reviewers recommend acceptance and rejection at higher rates than their female counterparts, who were more prone to revisions.5

The under use of women as reviewers seems then not justified by any quality criteria, as has been shown as well by the measurement of variables of time to answer and referees recommendations to authors.6 In addition, the promotion of gender parity in the peer review process could contribute to a reduction in the traditional invisibility of women in scientific knowledge development.6–8

This study has been done with the main objective to detect gender bias in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (JECH) peer review process and to identify differences, …

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