Inside Higher Ed, Why Do Male Ph.D. Candidates Publish More Than Women At The Same Institution?:
Numerous studies have found that men in the sciences publish at higher rates than women. But the designs of some of those studies make it difficult to isolate the possible origins of that gap. Women are less likely than men to attend prestigious doctoral programs, complicating any study of gendered publication rates among researchers with different educational backgrounds, for example, as journals favor prestige.
A new study [Sex Differences in Doctoral Student Publication Rates] sought to level the contributing factor field, as it were, by considering researchers — Ph.D. candidates — in the same academic stage at the same institution. The authors wanted to know, specifically, how the number of scholarly works submitted for publication, first authored and published, differed between male and female students. They also asked how those differences varied by field, both within and outside the sciences.
The authors found that men submitted and published substantially more scholarly works than their female peers. That pattern occurred in both the male-dominated engineering and physical sciences, they note, as well as the more gender-balanced natural and biological sciences and even in the sometimes female-dominated humanities and creative arts and social sciences and applied health fields.
As for why, the study offers some clues: men rated their relationships with their advisers, career preparation and faculty support for research more highly than did their female peers. Those findings align with previous research suggesting that male Ph.D. students tend to receive more research mentoring from their advisers in science and other fields, the study says. Beyond that, research assistantships were also a strong predictor of publication submissions.
Yet the disparity remains largely unexplained. Possible factors meriting future study including greater teaching responsibilities for women and career goal differences between men and women, lead author Sarah Theule Lubienski, a professor of math education at Indiana University, said Tuesday. ...
On average, across disciplines, men submitted an average of 5.9 manuscripts for publication (3.7 as first or solo author), versus women’s 3.7 publications submitted (2.2 as first or solo author). The number of submissions published or accepted also differed significantly: 4.9 for men and 2.9 for women. The starkest differences were seen in engineering and physical sciences and in the natural and biological sciences. Figures for the latter are 5.3 submissions for men and 3.8 for women. But significant gaps were observed in most fields. The one exception was education and professional programs, in which no significant gender differences were observed.