Gender Differences in Publication Output: Towards an Unbiased Metric of Research Performance

Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 02/2006; 1(1):e127. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000127
Source: PubMed


We examined the publication records of a cohort of 168 life scientists in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology to assess gender differences in research performance. Clear discrepancies in publication rate between men and women appear very early in their careers and this has consequences for the subsequent citation of their work. We show that a recently proposed index designed to rank scientists fairly is in fact strongly biased against female researchers, and advocate a modified index to assess men and women on a more equitable basis.

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    • "Authorship therefore functions as a signal of gender inequality in the sciences and acts as a potential contributor to it. For example, women tend to publish less often than men on a per capita basis (Symonds et al. 2006; Ledin et al. 2007) and globally account for <30% of authorships (accounting for the number of authors; Larivi ere et al. 2013). Women also tend to be under-represented as first and last authors and over-represented as middle authors relative to their overall frequency as authors, though the degree to which this is the case varies among disciplines (Martin 2012; West et al. 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: 1.Lack of diversity on editorial boards might generate disparities in editorial and peer review that contribute to gender and geographic disparities in scholarly publishing.2.We use a comprehensive dataset of the peer review process for all papers submitted to the journal Functional Ecology from January 2004 to June 2014 to examine how gender, seniority and geographic location of editors and reviewers influences reviewer recruitment and scores given to papers by reviewers.3.The gender ratio of editors for Functional Ecology was majority male, but the proportion of female editors increased over time. The gender ratio of selected reviewers was also highly majority male but the proportion of women selected as reviewers increased over the 10 years largely because the number of women on the editorial board increased and female editors invited more female reviewers than did male editors. Male editors selected <25% female reviewers even in the year they selected the most women, but female editors consistently selected ~30-35% female reviewers. Editors also over-selected reviewers from their own geographic locality.4.Women invited to review were less likely to respond to review invitations, but more likely to accept if they responded. Women invited to review responded to the invitation similarly regardless of whether the editor inviting them was male or female, but men invited to review were both less likely to respond and more likely to decline if the editor was female.5.Review scores given to papers did not differ between male and female reviewers, and final decisions (proportion of papers rejected) did not differ between male and female editors.6.The proportion of women among selected reviewers decreased with editor seniority when the editor was male but increased with editor seniority when the editor was female. Thus, the gender ratio of selected reviewers differed little between early-career male and female editors but differed a lot between late-career (more senior) male and female editors. Individuals invited to review were less likely to agree to review if the editor was more senior.7.Editor gender, seniority and geographic location affect who is invited to review for Functional Ecology, and how invitees respond to review invitations, but not the final outcome of the peer review process. To increase diversity of reviewer populations, journals need to increase gender, age and geographic diversity of their editorial boards.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Functional Ecology 08/2015; DOI:10.1111/1365-2435.12529 · 4.83 Impact Factor
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    • "If true, this might easily translate into a reluctance to publish thus reducing publication output (a highly valued metric of productivity and often researcher quality) even from an early career stage. Such risk aversion may provide one explanation for the 'productivity puzzle' identified across so many fields of academia (Xie & Shauman, 1998; Symonds et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Women continue to be under-represented in the sciences, with their representation declining at each progressive academic level. These differences persist despite longrunning policies to ameliorate gender inequity. We compared gender differences in exposure and visibility at an evolutionary biology conference for attendees at two different academic levels: student and post-PhD academic. Despite there being almost exactly a 1:1 ratio of women and men attending the conference, we found that when considering only those who presented talks, women spoke for far less time than men of an equivalent academic level: on average student women presented for 23% less time than student men, and academic women presented for 17% less time than academic men.We conducted more detailed analyses to tease apart whether this gender difference was caused by decisions made by the attendees or through bias in evaluation of the abstracts. At both academic levels, women and men were equally likely to request a presentation.However, women were more likely than men to prefer a short talk, regardless of academic level. We discuss potential underlying reasons for this gender bias, and provide recommendations to avoid similar gender biases at future conferences. Subjects
    PeerJ 10/2014; 2(10):e627. DOI:10.7717/peerj.627 · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    • "basic sciences, engineering, technology and mathematics which women faintly participate in. However, research results are different and even contradictory regarding the impact of female and male researchers (Leta and Lewison 2003; Borrego et al. 2008; Long 1992; Symonds et al. 2006; Håkanson 2005; Mauleón and Bordons 2006). Women's scientific contribution to Nano Science & Technology (Nano S&T) being unstudied so far, it is unclear how female Nano-specialists achieve in their scientific competition. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although, women’s contribution to science is crucial to social development, gender difference has been for a long time affecting the quantity and quality of scholarly activity. In spite of some improvements, women are still suffering from gender gap and biases in science world. Using a scientometric method with a comparative approach, the present communication aims to study women performance in Nano Science & Technology in terms of their scientific productivity and impact and to contrast them to their male counterparts. The significance of the study relies on the importance of a balanced development of human society in general and in different scientific milieus in specific. According to the research results, although female Nano-researchers are scarce in number, they equally perform in terms of scientific productions and impacts. That may imply gender egalitarianism in the field.
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