For this article, we have sought to gather longitudinal data on who participates in JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies via authorship and reviewing. While the current editorial team was interested in broader categories of inequalities, and the ways in which they contribute to the systemic underrepresentation of minoritized groups within this academy, we have only been able to gather data based on gender men/women. Data collection and analysis was carried out with a view to reflect upon who gets to participate in a well-regarded and longstanding academic journal. This has implications not only for DEI efforts but also the gendered nature of knowledge production in the field. Data for the research were gathered by means of administrative access to ScholarOne, our manuscript management system database and Wiley Online Library archive which allows us to access authors from JCMS’ inception. The use of Wiley Online Library was essential for data gathering since self-declaration of gender was only instituted by the journal in 2018.
The Wiley Online Library archive includes all volumes of the articles published in the core journal, the Annual Review supplement, and the book reviews. From the archive, basic author information like author first names helped to determine gender particularly from 1962 to 2008 (those outside the ScholarOne system). Where there is ambiguity about names, this was cross-checked against institutional websites paying attention to pronouns used in author’s biographies. Where we were unable to ascertain gender based on these cross-checks, these were coded as “not found”. The “not found” categorization follows from the current ScholarOne categories, which include those who prefer not to identify within the binaries as male/female or men/women. It is important to note that this approach, though conforming to how the journal currently collects data and how the Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA), UK, currently displays gender data, is not ideal. It is a useful shorthand for collecting data about the gender of journal participants. Yet, approaching inquiries about gendered knowledge production in this way can reinforce the gender binary contributing to the erasure of gender non-conforming scholars’ participation in academic publishing (see the point made by Heath-Kelly 2021). While the proportion of those coded as “not found” had no significance on the percentage of representation, it is, nevertheless, necessary to note that the data can be read as somewhat partial insofar as it does not capture those who are outside the typical gender binaries. For our purposes we focused on corresponding authors only, in those articles that had more than one author. Further, collating the data in this way excluded those who since July 2017 identified as non-binary. In Fig. 1, we represent the pattern of contributors as corresponding authors in JCMS between 1962 and 2020.
From the 1960s to the mid-1990s, we found that women’s participation in the journal in terms of authorship was significantly lower in comparison to men. This period included several all-male issues. Some of these issues included articles from key figures in European integration like Jean Monnet (Volume 1 Issue 3, 1962). From 2000 onwards, and especially after 2004, women increasingly contributed to the journal as corresponding authors. This period that saw an increase in women’s authorship has coincided with the appointment of women on the editorial core team of the journal (2010—present). It is worth noting, however, that in the same period men’s contributions have also increased as corresponding authors create a seemingly increased gender gap that has mainly favoured men. Yet, since 2017, we have found that women are represented as authors at the same rates as they submit work to the journal (approximately 38%).Footnote 2 The patterns in JCMS appear to follow the same patterns as many political science and international relations journals in that there is no parity. Men are overrepresented as knowledge producers in JCMS, publishing on a variety of themes. These themes and who gets to publish on them underscore the masculinized nature of political science (and apparently European studies) as a discipline (Celis et al. 2013).
Beyond the gender gap that exists in terms of participation through publishing/authorship, there are other ways in which inequalities are reproduced in the publishing process. Some of the literature on gender gaps in journals has shown that the review process can reproduce inequalities in journal publishing. There is, however, no consensus. For instance, Fox et al (2016) argue that “lack of diversity on editorial boards might generate disparities in editorial and peer review that contribute to gender gaps”. Lloyd’s earlier study has shown that female reviewers accepted more female-authored manuscripts while male reviewers tended to review female-authored manuscripts less favourably (Lloyd 1990; Fox and Paine 2019).
Data on reviewers who participated in the JCMS was sourced from the ScholarOne database. This data, however, only goes as far back as 2008, and until 2018, excluded those reviewers assigned to review original symposium articles which were reviewed outside of ScholarOne. In Fig. 2, we represent the pattern of participation of male and female reviewers in a bar chart. Similar to the pattern of contributors, while female participation in the review process increased markedly in some years, it is still the case that more women review for the journal. This data focuses on those who reviewed rather than those who were invited to review.
ScholarOne, however, also gives us the opportunity to evaluate who is invited to review not just who accepts since 2008. Figure 3 illustrates that since 2010, more women have been invited to review in the journal coinciding with the first appointment of a joint team of women as editors. The gap between inviting men and women, however, only started to close around 2017 to coincide with an explicit journal mandate for more diversity, equality and inclusion in journal activities. There are three different categories of those who choose not to participate in the review process: “declined”, “unavailable” or “uninvited”. This data, represented in Table 1, allows us an in-depth picture of the pattern of participation in the review process.
By calling attention to particular modes of non-participation, this data may help to illuminate the extent to which structural barriers contribute to keeping women out. For example, one of the most interesting distinctions we found here is between the ratios of “declined” and “unavailable”. The average ratio of those who declined to review is 4:1 (men/women), whereas the average ratio for unavailable is 2:1 (men/women). Thus, male scholars are four times more likely to simply decline an offer to review, whereas the category of unavailable may suggest competing priorities that do not allow for women’s participation. It is important to note that this is not an exert science since it is possible that reviewers do not distinguish between the two categories. What is interesting is that since 2017 (the Haastrup–Whitman led editorial term), the gaps in the decline/uninvited rate between men and women have decreased. This is partly due to the increase in invitations of more women. Another explanation, however, may be that the broadening of subject matter within the journal has allowed for the greater participation of women.
Men are more likely to be uninvited by editors usually due to conflicts of interests. We interpret this as reinforcing the fact that scholarly networks are dominated by men. In the context of this journal, until about five years ago, men dominated the reviewer pool, although there is an increase in women being asked to review.