Existing on Erasure’s Edge: BIPOC Treatment in Peer Review

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Journal of Radical Librarianship

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Publisher PDF: the final published version of the article, with professional formatting and typesetting

Original Citation

Dozier, V., & Leftwich, A. (2023). Existing on Erasure’s Edge: BIPOC Treatment in Peer Review. Journal of Radical Librarianship, 9, 200–223. https://journal.radicallibrarianship.org/index.php/journal/article/view/91

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Library and Information Science

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

The authors of this research are Black women employed in higher education academic libraries with expectations to actively participate in the scholarly community as researchers, writers, presenters, reviewers, and editors. After multiple personal and observed experiences receiving thinly veiled and outright biased feedback from reviewers and editors in supposedly anonymous review processes, the authors decided to channel our frustration into an exploratory study that queries if our experiences are shared amongst the BIPOC library and information studies (LIS) scholarly community. This study explores how implicit and explicit bias impacts BIPOC scholars in LIS from both the writers’ and reviewers perspectives. While this study purposefully centers BIPOC experiences, the participant pool includes people of White and/or European descent to infer how bias impacts decision making (e.g, accept, reject, revise and resubmit) and the feedback BIPOC writers experience throughout navigating the LIS peer review process. We found that the peer review process was clearly marked with unnecessary hassles including: time constraints, transactional reviews, and bias. Although the time constraints and transactional reviews didn’t stop scholars from resubmitting to other journals, those experiences have made them reflect on the processes that journals take prior to submission. Alternatively, negative interactions that were rooted in racial and gender bias made those scholars question submission to another peer-review publication in perpetuity.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This work is initially published in the Journal of Radical Librarianship.