Ethics Announces New Editors and Gender Data

The well-known and highly-regarded academic philosophy journal, Ethics, has announced its new editors.

At the end of June, 2018, Georgetown University professor of philosophy Henry S. Richardson will be stepping down from his 10-year tenure as editor (in chief) of the journal. On July 1st, Julia Driver,  professor of philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis, and Connie Rosati, professor of philosophy at the University of Arizona, will become the journal’s co-editors (in chief).

Professors Driver and Rosati are currently associate editors at Ethics.

In a statement about the change of editors, Professor Richardson says that “one of the things that they would like to do is to redouble the journal’s efforts to attract work by female authors and authors of color.” To that end, he writes,

I am implementing two steps designed indirectly to aid the cause of reducing gender imbalance in philosophy publishing. First, to increase transparency and general understanding, I here publish for the first time the statistics that we have been collecting, for our internal use, on the genders of our submitting authors and those of the authors whose papers we end up publishing. The second step is to improve the quality of this data so as to facilitate analyses using it. Our determinations of authors’ genders have hitherto rested mainly on first names, occasionally supplemented by internet searches. We have added a required field in which each submitting author will be asked to indicate their gender however they like. By not imposing a list of categories, we will avoid forcing anyone to choose among options none of which they accept and will collect, over time, a set of data that, I am told, will not only be more accurate than what we have been gathering but will also allow for answering the broadest range of queries. Because none of our editors ever sees personal information about any paper’s authors until after the final decision—irrevocable rejection or acceptance—has been reached, it should not alarm anyone that we are collecting such data. Anyone who objects to offering any substantive answer to the gender question is free to answer “not applicable.”

The statistics show that while about three-quarters of the submissions to the journal over the past ten years have been authored by men, there has been a modest increase during this time in submissions by women. Further, the gender breakdown on submissions, averaged over the past ten years, is very close to the gender breakdown on published papers during that time.

The rest of the statistics begin on page three of this document.

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