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manuscript rejection rates

Pamela A. Norton pnorton at hendrix.jci.tju.edu
Tue Nov 2 09:49:06 EST 1999

In article <v03110700b43f5d7203b8@[]>, lisa vaillancourt
<vaillan at pop.uky.edu> wrote:

> confident in their own abilities.  What I was originally wondering was
> whether manuscript rejection rates were higher for women than for men. 
> I have read a few other studies that generally showed that work by
> women was questioned more and taken less seriously than that by men,
> and so it seemed possible that women submit equally, but are rejected
> more.  Your study would suggest that women end up publishing fewer
> papers but in presumably better journals.  I wonder if there are data
> on that ?  I think these questions could be a very good topic for a
> study by someone, and if differences were proved out, it might make
> journal editors more aware of bias that could exist.  

Lisa and all,

   There is likely truth to the reports that papers authored by women
are judged more harshly, and I have seen it reported (can't remember
where) that women publish fewer but higher quality papers. My
impression is that, as a junior investigator, or anyone outside of the
influential circles of (largely male) editorial board members, you need
to fight to get published. Literally - argue with editors and be a very
aggressive advocate for one's work. I find this difficult, and I think
that other women (and men) may share a distaste for this level of
confrontation. It would be nice to think that our work stands (or
falls) on its own merit, but unfortunately you need to market it
against other "salesmen" competing for the same limited slots in the
journal of your choice. I always knew that I would never be good in
sales :-).


Pamela A. Norton, Ph.D.             p_norton at lac.jci.tju.edu            
Research Associate Professor of Medicine             
Thomas Jefferson University
1020 Locust Street, JAH 365
Philadelphia, PA  19107

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