“I don't see gender”: Conceptualizing a gendered system of academic publishing Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • Academic experts share their ideas, as well as contribute to advancing health science by participating in publishing as an author, reviewer and editor. The academy shapes and is shaped by knowledge produced within it. As such, the production of scientific knowledge can be described as part of a socially constructed system. Like all socially constructed systems, scientific knowledge production is influenced by gender. This study investigated one layer of this system through an analysis of journal editors' understanding of if and how gender influences editorial practices in peer reviewed health science journals. The study involved two stages: 1) exploratory in-depth qualitative interviews with editors at health science journals; and 2) a nominal group technique (NGT) with experts working on gender in research, academia and the journal peer review process. Our findings indicate that some editors had not considered the impact of gender on their editorial work. Many described how they actively strive to be 'gender blind,' as this was seen as a means to be objective. This view fails to recognize how broader social structures operate to produce systemic inequities. None of the editors or publishers in this study were collecting gender or other social indicators as part of the article submission process. These findings suggest that there is room for editors and publishers to play a more active role in addressing structural inequities in academic publishing to ensure a diversity of knowledge and ideas are reflected.


  • Lundine, Jamie
  • Bourgeault, Ivy
  • Glonti, Ketevan
  • Hutchinson, Eleanor
  • Balabanova, Dina

publication date

  • August 2019