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'Bias Throughout the Pipeline'

Women in chemistry are less likely to have their manuscripts accepted for publication than men in the field, Nature News reports.

The Royal Society of Chemistry analyzed more than 700,000 manuscripts submitted to its journals between January 2014 and July 2018 to find in its report that more than a third of the authors who submitted a paper were women, but that less than a quarter of the authors whose papers were ultimately published were women. The analysis further noted that biases are present throughout the publication process, as, for instance, the gender of both reviewers and authors affects whether an article is accepted and as men are less likely to cite papers written by women.

As Nature News notes, this gender gap isn't specific to Royal Society of Chemistry journals or to the field of chemistry, as other analyses of papers in physics and life science journals have had similar results.

In its report, the Royal Society of Chemistry outlines four ways in which it plans to combat this issue. It aims to analyze its decision-makers annually; recruit reviewers and others who reflect the field as a whole; provide training and other resources on bias to editors; and encourage change within academic publishing.