Fourteen journal editors completed the survey in detail.
The journals publish in or have editorial offices in Belgium, Canada, China, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, or United States of America.
The journal fields are mainly in the biological sciences like molecular and cell biology, radiobiology, biochemistry, biophysics, plant science or in related fields like agronomy and ecology. Some are in medical fields like diagnostics, public health and education. Other journals cover astronomy or are multidisciplinary.
Half of the journal editorial boards have discussed gender equality at some time in the last 5 years.
None of the journals had an official policy or statement regarding gender and peer review.
Where known and applicable all journals had equal opportunities employment policies though.
Only one of the journals that uses a peer reviewer database monitored how many men and women were listed. In this case 24.6% of reviewers listed in the database were women.
Seven of the 14 journals who responded thank and acknowledge peer reviewers publicly by name.
Only one journal tries to balance the number of men and women invited to review individual manscripts.
One journal makes an effort to find women peers to review papers by women first authors.
Editors were asked what 3 things they look for when selecting peer reviewers. Expertise in the field of the submitted manuscript is thought to be the most important quality.