Background information: Field: Neuroscience; Country: India
Premise: I am a graduate student. I have not published many articles. Over the past 5 or so years, I have been hearing from colleagues, my advisor, and other professors from my University that it is really difficult to publish in respectable journals in the field as there is a lot of resistance in seeing a good paper from a developing country. Until recently, I was skeptical of such opinions.
Current situation: The past couple of papers that we have submitted have come back with really sparse reviews. In fact for two of our papers, we only got one peer-review which had nothing much to say except for a brief summary of the paper and a small point here and there (in fact addressing those two points wouldn't even have required a major revision; really small points). However, the editors were prompt to reject the paper saying the review(s) were not enthusiastic. [Note: I am okay with the idea that our work may have had flaws and that it could be made better; the question is not really about the review that we have received]
Question: Looking at these couple of experiences along with hearing similar experiences from several other colleagues/faculties, I am wondering if there is any truth to some sort of racial/regional bias in the peer review process. Specifically:
- Is there concrete evidence out there to suggest that such discrimination at peer-review happens?
- How can we deal with this kind of problems (for example, potentially submitting to journals that follow double blind reviews, etc.)