Is peer review
inherently biased?

How can we champion all identities?

Whilst there are many people involved in peer review, is the process inherently biased towards the few and not inclusive of the many? Research, and the processes within, need to be grounded in diverse voices, background, experiences, and identities

As part of this important conversation, and how we strive to be inclusive, to celebrate, represent and amplify diverse voices, we’ve focused this Peer Review Week on hearing from different voices within the peer review system. Sharing their experiences, and what they think needs to change so that the process can be more inclusive to all, and what work needs to be done, so that as a collective we can work towards truly including all identities.

On this page, you’ll also find guides, as well as helpful hints and tips for anyone who would like to learn more, of have some support around peer reviewing.

You can join conversations happening on our Engage community platform throughout the week, where you can listen to, and share your views with others in the research community.

Our key principles

To strive to ensure the peer review process at Emerald is fair, efficient and effective, we’ve established some key principles to help guide editorial teams, and anyone involved in peer reviewing.

We’re changing our peer review terminology to be more inclusive to all

Different voices

There are many people involved in peer reviewing, but currently is the process inherently biased towards a few groups and not inclusive to everyone? Research, and the processes within needs to be grounded in diverse voices, background, experiences, and identities.

To explore this question more, we’re sharing the experiences of people from different viewpoints, but all working within the same publication process of peer reviewing. We hope that by listening to diverse voices, we can all learn what changes are needed, and together we can work to make change happen for the future, for everyone.

Gender in the peer review process

Prof Abeer A. Mahrous discusses some of the inherent gender bias found within the peer review process and makes recommendations as to how a proactive and engaged approach from both academics and publishers will help address the challenge and provide positive change within our shared communities.

Women in peer review

As an experienced editor and peer reviewer, Prof Noha El-Bassiouny provides insight on the challenges faced by female reviewers and suggests ways in which publishers might provide better incentives, support and opportunities for engagement for women as part of their academic journey.

A publisher’s view

In this blog, Laura Wilson, Emerald’s Head of Research Integrity talks about the benefits of having diverse voices in the peer review process from a publisher perspective and what journals can do to encourage and enable people from diverse backgrounds to participate in the process.

Break the norm

Find out more about why we are challenging the status quo in order to break down barriers, and move away from the academic stereotypes and taboos that stand in the way of more equitable environment for academic research to thrive.

Read more

Tools & support

We’ve curated a collection of free to access guides, hints and tips, all created specifically for those involved within the peer review process, to support everyone from those who are new to peer reviewing, to those who may just like a little help.


Your article’s been rejected, what next?

Emerald’s journal editors have all been through the submission journal and have their own experience of having an article rejected too. We asked some of them their top tips on how to move on from opening that rejection email.

Emerald Engage

Emerald Engage is an online community for everyone involved with research to share views, exchange idea, get advice and make connections with others. This Peer Review Week we will be sharing advice, and encouraging conversation around your experiences and challenges.

Join the conversation

We support the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Our goals

Find our more about our goals for breaking the norms of society and challenging the status quo.

See all our goals