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Double-blind reviewing and gender biases at EvoLang conferences: An update

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christine CuskleyORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Oxford University Press, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


A previous study of reviewing at the Evolution of Language conferences found effects that suggested that gender bias against female authors was alleviated under double-blind review at EvoLang 11. We update this analysis in two specific ways. First, we add data from the most recent EvoLang 12 conference, providing a comprehensive picture of the conference over five iterations. Like EvoLang 11, EvoLang 12 used double-blind review, but EvoLang 12 showed no significant difference in review scores between genders. We discuss potential explanations for why there was a strong effect in EvoLang 11, which is largely absent in EvoLang 12. These include testing whether readability differs between genders, though we find no evidence to support this. Although gender differences seem to have declined for EvoLang 12, we suggest that double-blind review provides a more equitable evaluation process.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cuskley CF, Roberts SG, Politzer-Ahles S, Verhoef T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Language Evolution

Year: 2019

Online publication date: 12/10/2019

Acceptance date: 02/09/2019

Date deposited: 14/10/2019

ISSN (print): 2058-4571

ISSN (electronic): 2058-458X

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/jole/lzz007


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