JBI Annual Report on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

An increased awareness of systemic bias in institutions requires that we all examine the practices in which we participate. Around the turn of 2020, the Journal of Biogeography (JBI) began considering initiatives to promote opportunities for researchers currently underrepresented in biogeography, a discussion that continued throughout the year, and will go on for some time yet. A key part of this discussion is transparency in the current state of imbalance, inequity, and exclusion and changes in their status through time to hold ourselves accountable and ensure we are making progress. By way of this post, we begin this process of transparency and accountability, with JBI‘s first Annual Report on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Approach & results for 2020: There are many dimensions to diversity, and currently we are able to access information on only a subset of these, with some degree of accuracy, for a subset of roles within the publishing ecosystem. These data come from recent investments by Wiley to understand aspects of gender diversity of authors (currently, absent instruments for self-identification, we are restricted to estimates of binary gender diversity afforded by tools that assign female-male gender on the basis of statistical associations between first names and countries), from our abilities to retrieve geographic diversity in author submissions and publications in ScholarOne and the analytics behind this blog, as well as from a small number of public documents on the journal website and a diversity questionnaire completed by authors of blog posts. As a result, we report on aspects currently accessible and commit to improving our information systems in the coming years.

Editorial Board:

Associate Editors:
Current board composition: 15 women, 42 men.
New members added in 2020: 3 women, 2 men.
Total new invitations in 2020: 8 women, 4 men.
Geographic diversity by institutional location: 25 countries (Argentina 1, Australia 4, Austria 2, Belgium 2, Brazil 2, Chile 1, China 3, Cyprus 1, Denmark 1, Finland 2, France 2, Germany 2, Greece 1, Italy 1, Japan 1, Mexico 2, Netherlands 4, New Zealand 1, Northern Ireland 1, Norway 1, Poland 1, South Africa 4, Spain 2, UK 5, USA 9)

Deputy Editors-in-Chief:
Current board composition: 2 women, 3 men.
New members added in 2020: 1 man.
Geographic diversity by institutional location: 5 countries (France, Germany, Portugal, UK, USA)

Current board composition: 1, man.
Geographic diversity by institutional location: USA

Social Media Editors:
WeChat: 1, man.
Blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: 1 woman, 1 man.
Geographic diversity by institutional location: 3 countries (Australia, China, Switzerland)
Cultural/national identity: American, Chinese, Chinese-European.

Editorial Academy:  
Current board composition: 3 women, 3 men.
New members added in 2020: 3 women, 3 men.
Total new invitations in 2020: 3 women, 3 men.
Geographic diversity by institutional location: 4 countries (Finland, Germany 2, UK 2, USA)
Cultural/national identity: China, Germany, Portugal (2), New Zealand, United Kingdom.


22% women


Gender diversity:

Submitting first authors: 27% women
Submitting corresponding authors: 26% women
Submitting authors: 25% women

Published first authors: 28% women
Published corresponding authors: 24% women
Published authors: 26% women

Geographic diversity:

(Above) The geographic sources, by lead author institute, of papers published in JBI

between September 2019-2020 (v.46 issues 9-12 and v.47 issues 1-9).


In 2020, JBI introduced three initiatives to advance principles consistent with the journal’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion statement (see “Other” below).

Editorial Academy:
See above.

Small Grants for Global Colloquia in Biogeography:
In progress (to be reported in 2021).

JBI Awards for Innovation:
In progress (to be reported in 2021).


Early Career Researcher features (as of 18 Oct 2020):
10 women, 10 men
4 PhD, 15 postdoc, 1 other [postdoc equivalent]

153 countries (United States, Brazil, Germany, United Kingdom, India, Australia, Canada, Spain, France, China, Mexico, Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Colombia, Japan, South Africa, Portugal, Chile, Austria, Argentina, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Poland, Israel, Czech Republic, Nepal, Ireland, Hong Kong SAR China, Greece, Turkey, Peru, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ecuador, Thailand, Costa Rica, Philippines, Romania, Croatia, Nigeria, Russia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Hungary, Estonia, Saudi Arabia, Benin, Kenya, Uruguay, European Union, Slovenia, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Venezuela, Algeria, Slovakia, Iceland, Cyprus, Serbia, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Panama, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Lithuania, Bolivia, Cuba, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, New Caledonia, Luxembourg, Puerto Rico, Ukraine, Uganda, Mozambique, Paraguay, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Tanzania, Faroe Islands, Congo – Kinshasa, Gambia, Réunion, Oman, Honduras, Montenegro, Kuwait, Latvia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Qatar, Namibia, Zimbabwe, American Samoa, Cambodia, Macau SAR China, Myanmar, Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire, Albania, Madagascar, Zambia, Malta, Iraq, Palestinian Territories, Congo – Brazzaville, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Rwanda, Uzbekistan, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Jordan, Mongolia, Curaçao, Belarus, Ethiopia, Syria, Seychelles, Cameroon, Guyana, Monaco, Botswana, Barbados, Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Jamaica, Moldova, Afghanistan, Laos, Martinique, Armenia, Togo, Libya, Bhutan, Bermuda, Senegal, Angola, French Polynesia, Brunei, Maldives, Guam, Equatorial Guinea).

(Left) Number of page views of the JBI blog by country since inception, early January 2020.
(Right) Number of page views of the blog by country for the month ending 18 October 2020 shows potential for individual blog posts to reach audiences in usually underrepresented countries, in this case Nepal.


Like other journals, including Oikos, we consider diversifying biogeography to be integral with the future of biogeography, so JBI adopted Equity, Diversity & Inclusion statements at the beginning of July 2020. The statements can be found here and here (Section 5, bottom) and are designed specifically to address the need for inclusion to start with the earliest planning stages of research. A version of this statement also is included in JBI‘s initiatives (see above) that are explicitly intended to promote gender and geographic diversity among early career biogeographers.

Wiley is a signatory of the Joint Commitment for Action on Inclusion and Diversity in Publishing. link

Action items for 2021:

Growing from these initial data and experiences over the past year, we identify several goals on which we aim to work in the coming year. We do not consider this a complete list, nor a list of all that needs to be done. Goals for 2021 include:

To partner with other journals and societies on this matter, particularly sponsoring a discussion / session at an upcoming meeting.  Two ideas in this regard are:
– “Women in biogeography”
– “Island biogeography from the perspective of indigenous islanders”  

To increase geographic diversity among all of the journal’s constituencies: authors, editors, readers, reviewers.*

To increase gender diversity in leadership positions while being sensitive to workload.

To achieve gender parity and geographic representation in initiatives.

To increase gender diversity of authors, which in biogeography lags other ‘ecology’ titles (see figure below).

To begin a series of special or virtual issues focusing on diversity in biogeography. The first contribution will be 1 of ≥2 virtual issues on “Women in Biogeography” which we hope to publish later this year.

To implement a framework for better assessing diversity in submission and publication, such as improved analytics of manuscript metadata and post-decision information gathering from all authors.

Likewise, to implement a framework for assessing diversity in invitations to review cf. acceptances and submissions of reviews (see partial data in figure below).

To be responsive to Wiley’s recently formed DE&I advisory board which is creating a framework that could be applied to numerous journals across disciplines. 

*In the current report, geographic location of current institution is used as one dimension of geographic diversity in biogeography for which data currently are accessible. Action items for 2021 (above) include developing infrastructure for understanding ethnicity, nationality, cultural identify, country of origin.

(Above) Proportion of women in various roles in JBI relative to other Wiley ecology journals, 2019. While there is no substantial bias in acceptance rates (middle) relative to submission rates (top) at JBI, the journal has a lower proportion of female authors and reviewers than is average across ecology journals in general.

05 November 2020

Published by Biogeography.news

Contributing to the growth and societal relevance of the discipline of biogeography through dissemination of biogeographical research.

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