Hedgehog Review Study on Academic Inequality

Recently, a team of researchers analyzed publication data from three major humanities journals over the last forty-seven years, and found that the top ten PhD-granting institutions account for more than half of all articles published. They also found that all three journals have a history of publishing contributions primarily from male authors.

They use these data to raise two important questions, “If graduates from only a few elite institutions account for an outsized proportion of high-profile published work, then aren’t their ideas bound to have an outsized impact and influence? Do Harvard and Yale, which have not only unparalleled financial means to shape American higher education, also have the institutional prestige to determine what counts as knowledge?”

While these findings are important for members of editorial boards, we may also want to consider how they impact hiring processes. Might the emphasis placed on peer-reviewed journal articles reproduce these trends? To what extent should we value a diversity of perspectives, as indicated by university? What perspectives, audiences, and methodologies might we be missing out on by placing such weight on peer-reviewed journal articles?

Read the findings here.