Ned Markosian writes that he recently sent the following email:
Thank you for your two emails about my reason for declining a referee job. I recently adopted a policy of not refereeing any paper that cites zero female authors, if it seems clear to me that there are relevant papers by women that should have been cited. I gave a lot of thought to the argument that it would be better to referee such papers, so as to encourage the authors to cite some women. I can see the advantages of that policy. In the end I decided to go with the policy I have chosen instead because I decline so many refereeing requests anyway, simply because I can’t referee 24 papers a year, and I prefer to donate my limited time for refereeing to authors who are not contributing to the alarming gender imbalance in philosophy citation practices.
My view is that the gender imbalance in philosophy citations is a serious problem in our profession, and one of the many systemic biases that contribute to the unacceptable lack of diversity in our field.
As you point out, I have myself been guilty of failing to cite women. In fact, although you didn’t point this out, I have been one of the worst offenders! I feel extremely remorseful and downright embarrassed about this, and I very much wish someone had drawn my attention to this failing on my part a long time ago.
Anyway, I hope that is helpful. Please let me know if you have any other questions, and please still feel free to call on me to referee for ______.
What do readers think of this approach?