Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Study Says Women Aren't Publishing Less During The Pandemic

Inside Higher Ed, Study Says Women Aren't Publishing Less During the Pandemic:

A new study of COVID-19–era publication patterns by gender contradicts earlier research on the topic, suggesting that women haven’t published less than they did prior to the pandemic, over all [COVID-19 Effect on the Gender Gap in Academic Publishing].

What the study calls gender inequality has grown in some fields during this period of increased caregiving demands and quarantine, however—in psychology, math and philosophy, specifically.


Seeking to verify other evidence that women’s research productivity has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, researchers involved in the new study considered 266,409 articles published in 2019, 2020 and January 2021 in 2,813 journals, across 21 disciplines, assuming all the authors' genders by their first names. All the articles were from the Springer-Nature database.

The idea was to compare publication rates by gender in each of those three years, looking for major discrepancies between 2019, entirely before the pandemic, and after. Contrary to numerous other studies with different methodologies and different data sets showing that women have fallen behind men in terms of publishing since early 2020, this study found no significant differences between the three years.

That’s over all. There were significant differences in certain disciplines, however. The biggest decrease in proportion of women authors was in psychology (down 74.4 percent between 2019 and January 2021 and down 12.3 percent between 2020 and January 2021). The second-biggest drop was in math (down 12.9 percent and 17.5 percent, respectively), followed by philosophy (down 11.3 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively).

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