The APEER project will investigate from a gender perspective how scientific journal editors recruit peer reviewers. There are two main goals.
1) Methods of recruiting peer reviewers will become transparent
2) Areas where gender bias may exist will be revealed.
The online survey of journal editors will run from July until December 2012. There will be three areas of questions.
1) Gender and journal decision-making. What proportions of men and women make up editorial offices, editorial boards, and peer reviewer panels?
2) Reviewer recruitment policy and practice. How are reviewers sought? What weight do different search methods have, whether professional networks of editors, suggestions from authors, conferences, or internet/database searches? To what extent do job titles, qualifications, seniority, gender, appearance, referrals or technical expertise influence how reviewers are selected?
3) Matching need and opportunity. Do editors need a wider pool of reviewers? Do scientists ask to be reviewers or turn down the opportunity? Do journals have a role to play in ensuring gender equality in science?