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European Political Science Review

The Impacts of Democratic Innovations

EPSR Citation Experiment

ECPR Winter School 2020 Classroom

Publishing a journal article is becoming increasingly important for embarking on and consolidating an academic career. Yet, we know there is a gender gap in political science journals.

Since 2015, ECPR has been monitoring and reporting on this gap in both submitted and published articles in its own journals (including EPSR) in its Gender Study. We also know, that, ceteris paribus, women are less cited than men and that bibliographies do not represent fairly the proportion of women and minorities working in the field.

Over the next three years we will be running an experiment at EPSR, with the objectives of encouraging authors to consider whether their bibliography correctly represents the proportion of women and minorities working in their field; and ultimately reducing gender and possible other gaps in citations. If this experiment is successful, ECPR will consider rolling these changes outlined below, to its other journals too.

From the beginning of 2023, we will introduce two new initiatives

1. Authors will be asked to tick a box confirming that their bibliography fairly represents the women and minorities working in their field, thus encouraging them to actively consider this pre-submission, and to revisit the literature if necessary.

2. EPSR will be adopting a reference style which includes the authors' first names, to raise awareness among readers of gender representation in the bibliography.

We will evaluate the success of this initiative after three years by comparing the number of women being cited in the journal before and after these nudges were introduced, alongside the other journal data published by ECPR each year.

We acknowledge, and fully respect the fact that, for different reasons, it is not possible to accurately deduce gender from the authors' name; and that gender is not binary so all data will be presented and considered with this caveat. However, we believe that the names of the authors in the bibliography give us a reasonable idea of the average gender representation and hope that these measures will encourage our community to think more carefully about this issue.

For more information about how to prepare your materials for publication in EPSR, click here or contact Editorial Coordinator Anna Hubbard at