What is it about?

Invited publications are those for which a particular scholar is requested by an editor to submit an article. These invitations are based on professional reputation and indicate perceived prestige. Authorship of invited publications in elite journals increases the visibility of an academic’s work and can lead to professional opportunities and career progression. Women are under-represented in senior ranks in academic psychology, despite being over-represented in entry-level academic positions. Many explanations for this have been posed, such as heftier caring responsibilities, greater service demands, heavier teaching loads, and gendered bias that leads to women’s achievements being undervalued. We used authorship of invited publications as an indicator of professional esteem and determined whether women authors were underrepresented relative to their numbers in the professoriate. We found that women were disproportionately underrepresented, even after taking other factors into account. Men were more likely to publish in all-men teams than women were to publish in all-women teams. Women were also more likely to be authors when the senior author was a woman than a man.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show that women scholars are underrepresented in invited publications in high-profile psychology journals, despite women earning more doctorates in psychology than men for several decades. Given the significance of such publications to career progression, transparent, systemic action by journal editors—and in academic psychology more broadly—is needed to address this problem.


The finding that women were underrepresented in invited publications was not surprising to us, however, findings related to the composition of authorship teams were particularly alarming. In addition to innovations at the institutional level, they point to the significant impact that mentorship and sponsorship from senior academics of all genders can have on increasing representation among women in the senior ranks of academic psychology.

Dr. Jessica Mackelprang
Swinburne University of Technology

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Gender disparities in authorship of invited submissions in high-impact psychology journals., American Psychologist, December 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/amp0001106.
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