Some of the top political science journals are biased against women. Here’s the evidence.

In 2013, the Monkey Cage published a symposium of pieces that examined gender biases in political science — in professional networks, in teaching evaluations, in scholarly recognition and in citations of published work. But one of the most important measures of professional academic success was not covered in the symposium: the number of articles one publishes in peer-reviewed journals.

To advance the discussion, we asked: Is there gender bias in journal publications, particularly in top political science journals that are so important for tenure and promotion?

We looked at 10 top journals — and yes, some show gender bias.

For our study, we collected information on all articles published by 10 top journals over the past 15 years. The data shows that they publish a lower proportion of articles written by women than there are women in the discipline as a whole.

Women make up 31 percent of the membership of the American Political Science Association and 40 percent of newly minted doctorates. Within the 20 largest political science PhD programs in the United States, women make up 39 percent of assistant professors and 27 percent of tenure track faculty.

Let’s compare these baseline figures with the publication rates our study documents. Women make up just 18 percent of authors in the American Journal of Political Science and 23 percent in the American Political Science Review. That’s dramatically off. In fact, only two of the 10 top journals we studied published a proportional number of women: Political Theory and Perspectives on Politics each have women writing about 34 percent of all articles.

Why is there gender bias in political science publishing?

What accounts for this disparity? We explore two possible explanations.

The first has to do with how scholars collaborate. Increasingly,…

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