Women underrepresented in philosophy journals, data reveals

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Women are underrepresented in philosophy journals, even when compared to their already low rate of representation among faculty, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.


The findings reveal several ways in which female philosophers are underrepresented that had previously gone unnoticed, such as the discrepancy between the percentage of women faculty and the percentage of women authors.

Nicole Hassoun, associate professor of at Binghamton University, hopes her research will allow for progress to be made regarding female representation in philosophy, by revealing what journals are doing well and what they are doing poorly. “Women are seriously underrepresented in philosophy journals, things are not improving and we need to take steps to change that,” she said.

Hassoun and her co-researchers looked at the “top 25” philosophy journals, as ranked on the popular philosophy blog Leiter Reports. Some of the main findings of their research include the following:

1. In all years and for all journals, the percentage of female authors was extremely low, in the range of 14-16 percent.

2. The percentage of women authors is less than the percentage of women faculty in different ranks and at different kinds of institutions.

3. There is great variation across individual journals, and the discrepancy between women authors and appears to be different in different subfields.

4. Surprisingly, journals that do not practice anonymous review seem to have a higher percentage of women authors than journals practicing double anonymous or triple anonymous review.

5. As full-time hiring and tenuring practices presumably depend on a candidate’s academic publishing, additional data is necessary to reveal…

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