Toward the elimination of bias in Pediatric Research.
2019-10-07T10:24:31Z (GMT) by
There is increasing evidence that unconscious bias can affect real-world decision-making processes in publication just as in many other fields.1 In response, the editorial board of Pediatric Research is working to investigate and reduce the bias in the publication acceptance rates in order to preserve the integrity of the peer review process and publication. As news items have suggested that gender bias is a major problem in academia,2 we reviewed papers submitted between 1 November 2017 and 9 August 2018 to Pediatric Research. Encouragingly, we found that the acceptance rates of manuscripts were not significantly different between corresponding authors who were male or female. However, we incidentally uncovered a higher rejection rate in the manuscripts where the corresponding author had a name that could not be identified as either male or female and did not have a picture on their website so that we could identify their gender.3 It is important to point out that we do not know the reason for this, but its identification is the first step to further exploration, including assessing whether unconscious bias may play a role.