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Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Authors and Reviewers of American Geophysical Union Journals
  • Paige Wooden,
  • Brooks Hanson
Paige Wooden
American Geophysical Union

Corresponding Author:pwooden@agu.org

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Brooks Hanson
American Geophysical Union
Author Profile


The COVID-19 pandemic affected the scientific workforce in many ways. Many worried that stay-at-home orders would disproportionately harm the productivity and well-being of women and early-career scientists, who were expected to shoulder more childcare, homeschooling, and other domestic duties while also interrupting field and lab research, essential for career advancement. AGU journal submission and author and reviewer demographic data allowed us to investigate the effect the pandemic may have had on many Earth and space scientists, especially on women and early career scientists. However, we found that submissions to AGU journals increased during the pandemic as did total submissions from women (with no difference in the proportion). Although the rate at which women agreed to review decreased slightly (down 0.5%), women still made up a larger proportion of agreed reviewers during the pandemic compared to two years earlier. Little difference was seen overall in median times to complete reviews except with women in their 40s and 70s, suggesting that they were affected more during the pandemic than other age and gender groups. Although AGU’s data do not show that the effects of the pandemic decreased the participation of women in AGU journals, the lag between research and writing/submitting may still be seen in later months. The stay-at-home orders may also have allowed people to devote time to writing up research conducted pre-pandemic; writing too can be done at down-time hours, which may have supported the increase in submissions to and reviews for AGU journals.
Feb 2022Published in Earth and Space Science volume 9 issue 2. 10.1029/2021EA002050