HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 18 no. 1 (2009)

Possible Biases in Educational Journals: A Retrospective Study of Five Leading Journals

Chi-kim Cheung

Discipline: Education, Notes and Scribblings



Traditionally, in order to prevent bias in the reviewing of articles, journals have conducted blind peer reviews in which personal information of the authors have been withheld from reviewers. In this study, a retrospective review of five leading education journals was conducted to discern publication biases that were not eliminated or reduced by blind peer reviewing. Three biases were identified: cultural-geographical bias on the part of reviewers, and methodological, and topical biases on the part of editors. The first of these biases have resulted in a disproportionately small international representation in educational journals; and it is suggested that measures be taken to increase international representation on journal editorial boards. The other two biases, those of editors, have caused some prospective authors to be hesitant about contributing to journals; and it is suggested that editors take a less assertive approach to the orientation of their journals, particularly in the case of the most prestigious journals in particular fields of study.