If I can’t see you, you can’t see me, right?

The concept of double-blind review for research manuscripts and grant applications is intriguing. We want to publish and fund the best science, right? Wouldn’t double-blind review focus reviewers’ attention on the science? Maybe. But, how would it work? And, would it actually help to lessen the impact of implicit bias on our evaluations. Here’s a case study that suggests that it might.

Budden et al took advantage of a change in the review process at the journal Behavioral Ecology (BE), which shifted to double-blind review in 2001 and compared outcomes with the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (BSE). After the switch in BE, there was a significant increase in the proportion of female first authors while no change was observed during the same time frame in BSE. Food for thought as NIH considers a pilot program to conduct grant reviews in a double-blind manner…



About wormsense

wormsense is the alter-ego of Dr. Miriam B. Goodman, a sensory neurobiologist seeking to understand the sense of touch and to improve careers for women scientists.
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