TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Women Lag Men in Citations

Chronicle of Higher Education, New Data Show Articles by Women Are Cited Less Frequently:

Research papers and peer-reviewed articles written principally by women are cited less frequently than those whose dominant authors are men, compounding the underrepresentation of women in scholarly publishing, according to a new study.

The study documents a gap often described anecdotally by scientists, and expands on the data set analyzed for gender disparities in previous studies.

Five researchers based at universities in Montreal and Bloomington, Ind., analyzed 5.4 million peer-reviewed articles written by 27.3 million people and published globally from 2008 to 2012. Pulled from the Thomson Reuters Web of Science database, the data cover all academic disciplines.

Titled Global Gender Disparities in Science and published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, the study found that the citation gap cut across all research-prolific countries, including those in North America and Western Europe. It remained consistent when the analysis was adjusted for variables including women in the first author position, women in the last author position, single-author articles, and articles produced as part of national or international collaborations.

The gender disparity in citations received was most pronounced in STEM fields like computer science, engineering, and mathematics. ...

The study found that women's share of total authorships was slightly less than 30 percent, a figure consistent with the findings of another body of research on the topic, made public last year.


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