January 22, 2022

Research Article: “Gendered Citation Patterns Across Political Science and Social Science Methodology Fields”

The following article was recently published in Political Analysis, a peer-reviewed journal from Cambridge University Press (CUP).

At the present time (August 2018) CUP has lowered the paywall to access the full text article (linked below).


Gendered Citation Patterns Across Political Science and Social Science Methodology Fields


Michelle L. Dion
McMaster University

Jane Lawrence Sumner
University of Minnesota

Sara McLaughlin Mitchell
University of Iowa


Political Analysis
Volume 26, Issue 3
July 2018


Accumulated evidence identifies discernible gender gaps across many dimensions of professional academic careers including salaries, publication rates, journal placement, career progress, and academic service. Recent work in political science also reveals gender gaps in citations, with articles written by men citing work by other male scholars more often than work by female scholars. This study estimates the gender gap in citations across political science subfields and across methodological subfields within political science, sociology, and economics. The research design captures variance across research areas in terms of the underlying distribution of female scholars. We expect that subfields within political science and social science disciplines with more women will have smaller gender citation gaps, a reduction of the “Matthew effect” where men’s research is viewed as the most central and important in a field. However, gender citation gaps may persist if a “Matilda effect” occurs whereby women’s research is viewed as less important or their ideas are attributed to male scholars, even as a field becomes more diverse. Analysing all articles published from 2007–2016 in several journals, we find that female scholars are significantly more likely than mixed gender or male author teams to cite research by their female peers, but that these citation rates vary depending on the overall distribution of women in their field. More gender diverse subfields and disciplines produce smaller gender citation gaps, consistent with a reduction in the “Matthew effect”. However, we also observe undercitation of work by women, even in journals that publish mostly female authors. While improvements in gender diversity in academia increase the visibility and impact of scholarly work by women, implicit biases in citation practices in the social sciences persist.

Direct to Full Text Article

See Also: Q&A with Co-Authors of Article

See Also: The ‘Gender Gap in Citations’: How Female Authors Lose Out (via Times Higher Education)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.