Online panel work through a gender lens: implications of digital peer review meetings

Helen Peterson*, Liisa Husu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Previous studies have highlighted how the academic peer review system has been marked by gender bias and nepotism. Panel meetings arranged by research funding organisations (RFOs), where reviewers must explain and account for their assessment and scoring of grant applications, can potentially mitigate and disrupt patterns of inequality. They can however also constitute arenas where biases are reproduced. This article explores, through a gender lens, the shift from face-to-face to digital peer review meetings in a Swedish RFO, focusing on the implications for an unbiased and fair grant allocation process. Drawing on twenty-two interviews with panellists and staff in the RFO, the analysis identifies both benefits and challenges of this shift, regarding use of resources, meeting dynamics, micropolitics, social glue, and possibilities for group reflections. RFOs deliberating digitalisation of their peer review processes need to consider these implications to develop policies promoting unbiased and fair grant allocation processes and procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalScience and Public Policy
Issue numberscac075
ISSN0302-3427
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23.12.2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 514,1 Sociology
  • research evaluation
  • evaluation panels
  • digital panels
  • 520 Other social sciences
  • Gender and management
  • gender bias

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