Only Second-Class Tickets for Women in the COVID-19 Race. A Study on Manuscript Submissions and Reviews in 2329 Elsevier Journals

28 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2020 Last revised: 28 Aug 2021

See all articles by Flaminio Squazzoni

Flaminio Squazzoni

University of Milan

Giangiacomo Bravo

Linnaeus University

Francisco Grimaldo

Departament d'Informàtica - Universitat de València

Daniel Garcıa-Costa

University of Valencia

Mike Farjam

Linnaeus University

Bahar Mehmani

Elsevier

Date Written: October 16, 2020

Abstract

During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the submission rate to scholarly journals increased abnormally. Given that most academics were forced to work from home, the competing demands for familial duties might have penalised the scientific productivity of women. To test this hypothesis, we looked at submitted manuscripts and peer review activities for all Elsevier journals between February and May 2018-2020, including data on over 5 million authors and referees. Results showed that during the first wave of the pandemic, women submitted proportionally fewer manuscripts than men. This deficit was especially pronounced among younger cohorts of women academics. The rate of the peer-review invitation acceptance showed a less pronounced gender pattern. Our findings suggest that the first wave of the pandemic has created potentially cumulative advantages for men.

Keywords: COVID-19; gender penalties; gender; scholarly journals; manuscripts; peer review; Elsevier; gender bias

JEL Classification: J16, 038

Suggested Citation

Squazzoni, Flaminio and Bravo, Giangiacomo and Grimaldo, Francisco and Garcıa-Costa, Daniel and Farjam, Mike and Mehmani, Bahar, Only Second-Class Tickets for Women in the COVID-19 Race. A Study on Manuscript Submissions and Reviews in 2329 Elsevier Journals (October 16, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3712813 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3712813

Flaminio Squazzoni (Contact Author)

University of Milan ( email )

Via Conservatorio 7
Milan, 20122
Italy
+393396584139 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://behavelab.org/flaminio-squazzoni/

Giangiacomo Bravo

Linnaeus University ( email )

Växjö, S-35195
Sweden

Francisco Grimaldo

Departament d'Informàtica - Universitat de València ( email )

Av. de la Universitat, s/n
Burjassot, Valencia 46100
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://www.uv.es/grimo

Daniel Garcıa-Costa

University of Valencia ( email )

Avda. de los Naranjos s/n
Valencia, Valencia E-46022
Spain

Mike Farjam

Linnaeus University ( email )

Växjö, S-35195
Sweden

Bahar Mehmani

Elsevier ( email )

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