May 19, 2022

Conference Paper: “Exploring Author Gender in Book Rating and Recommendation”

The following paper will be presented at RecSys ’18, October 2–7, 2018 in Vancouver, BC.


Exploring Author Gender in Book Rating and Recommendation


Michael D. Ekstrand
Boise State University

Mucun Tian
Boise State University

Mohammed R. Imran Kazi
Texas State University San Marcos

Hoda Mehrpouyan
Boise State University

Daniel Kluver
Macalester College


via arXiv


Collaborative filtering algorithms find useful patterns in rating and consumption data and exploit these patterns to guide users to good items. Many of the patterns in rating datasets reflect important real-world differences between the various users and items in the data; other patterns may be irrelevant or possibly undesirable for social or ethical reasons, particularly if they reflect undesired discrimination, such as gender or ethnic discrimination in publishing.

In this work, we examine the response of collaborative filtering recommender algorithms to the distribution of their input data with respect to a dimension of social concern, namely content creator gender. Using publicly-available book ratings data, we measure the distribution of the genders of the authors of books in user rating profiles and recommendation lists produced from this data. We find that common collaborative filtering algorithms differ in the gender distribution of their recommendation lists, and in the relationship of that output distribution to user profile distribution.

Direct to Full Text Article
9 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.