Openness and Diversity in Journal Editorial Boards


This study aims to measure diversity in scholarly journals’ editorial board structure and characterize patterns of editorial diversity across types of journals. To accomplish these aims, we integrate multiple sources of data at the journal and editor level to assemble a novel database describing the composition of editors and editorial boards for more than six thousand journals internationally, characterized by discipline, commercial publishing model, and research transparency. We then apply name-based gender imputation, geo-entity extraction analysis, and standardized dispersion measures to evaluate each group’s diversity. This analysis reveals that editorial leadership is more homogenous than editorial boards, and that diversity across both boards and leadership varies substantially (and robustly) across disciplines. Open-access journals’ boards exhibit less gender diversity and more international diversity than their closed-access counterparts. These results also suggest that open access, open science, and diversity, and equity, and inclusion are not strongly correlated and thus require separate measurements.