- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Science Education
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Across a broad range of disciplines, research has found that inequity is systemic in the journal review process. Collectively, however, this study does not specifically examine racial inequity. Moreover, literature on the peer review process in science education, in particular, does not foreground equity as a subject of study. The present study aims to address this void by examining racial equity in the peer review process with a specific focus on journals in science education. Data are collected from lead editors of major science education journals through the form of interviews, focus groups, and critical arts-based methods. The two research questions driving data collection are (a) In what ways does the science education journal peer review process promote racial equity? and (b) How are science education journal editors’ perceptions of racial inequity reflected in the peer review process? McNair and colleagues’ racial equity framework informs the explorations of journal review in science education from the lead editors’ perspectives. From our findings, we offer four suggestions for moving toward greater racial equity in the science education peer review process.
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Applicant qualifications and characteristics in STEM faculty hiring: an analysis of faculty and administrator perspectives
The lack of racial diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines is perhaps one of the most challenging issues in the United States higher education system. The issue is not only concerning diverse students, but also diverse faculty members. One important contributing factor is the faculty hiring process. To make progress toward equity in hiring decisions, it is necessary to better understand how applicants are considered and evaluated. In this paper, we describe and present our study based on a survey of current STEM faculty members and administrators who examined applicant qualifications and characteristics in STEM faculty hiring decisions.
There are three key findings of the present research. First, we found that faculty members placed different levels of importance on characteristics and qualifications for tenure track hiring and non-tenure track hiring. For example, items related to research were more important when evaluating tenure track applicants, whereas items related to teaching and diversity were more important when evaluating non-tenure track applicants. Second, faculty members’ institutional classification, position, and personal identities (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity) had an impact on their evaluation criteria. For instance, we found men considered some diversity-related items more important than women. Third, faculty members rated themore »
This study was an attempt to address the issue of diversity in STEM faculty hiring at institutions of higher education by examining how applicant characteristics are considered and evaluated in faculty hiring practices. Emphasizing research reputation and postdoctoral reputation while neglecting institutional diversity and equitable and inclusive teaching, research, and service stunt progress toward racial diversity because biases—both implicit and explicit, both positive and negative—still exist. Our results were consistent with research on bias in recruitment, revealing that affinity bias, confirmation bias, and halo bias exist in the faculty hiring process. These biases contribute to inequities in hiring, and need to be addressed before we can reach, sustain, and grow desired levels of diversity.
In this essay, I explore some of the insights provided in a set of three manuscripts that focus on centering equity in peer review, authored by Bancroft, Ryoo and Miles, Nkrumah and Mutegi, and Marshall and Salter. I consider various aspects of their arguments, highlighting implications for the procedures and norms of journals and funding organizations and questions for further consideration. Drawing on their findings and analyses, I discuss various recommendations, such as the need to change the rules and norms of peer review to be more equitable, to ensure that reviews are free from race, ethnicity, gender, and other kinds of identity-related biases, to work towards equitable distribution of the resources, such as advising, mentoring, and valuable feedback, that support fair reviewing, and to establish criteria and rubrics that support research that is conducted in collaboration with communities marginalized in science education. In addition, I raise issues for further consideration, including the evolving relationship between “equity” and “merit” with regard to peer review and the need for centering equity in ways that allow for discussion, debate, and development of the field.
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