I have discovered a useful strategy to help counter gender bias in peer review — an obstacle that is particularly relevant to younger scientists (see also J. Lerback and B. Hanson Nature 541, 455–457; 2017).
When prospective referees decline an invitation to review a manuscript, many journals ask them to propose alternative reviewers. If I am asked to suggest people, I consciously nominate female colleagues for the task — especially early-career researchers or junior faculty members.
If the editor takes my advice and invites the nominated reviewer, colleagues (especially younger ones) are delighted and enthusiastic, knowing that undertaking peer review is an essential component of career building and being accepted into the scientific community.
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Peer review for the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia in 2016 and 2017: a retrospective analysis by reviewer and author gender
Canadian Journal of Anesthesia/Journal canadien d'anesthésie (2020)
Journal of Neurochemistry (2018)