October 22, 2021

Research Article: “A Gender Equality Paradox in Academic Publishing: Countries With a Higher Proportion of Female First-Authored Journal Articles Have Larger First Author Gender Disparities Between Fields” (Preprint)

The following preprint was recently posted on arXiv. The paper is scheduled to appear in Quantitative Science Studies (MIT Press).

Title

A Gender Equality Paradox in Academic Publishing: Countries With a Higher Proportion of Female First-Authored Journal Articles Have Larger First Author Gender Disparities Between Fields

Authors

Mike Thelwall
University of Wolverhampton

Amalia Mas-Bleda
University of Wolverhampton

Source

via arXiv

Abstract

Current attempts to address the shortfall of female researchers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) have not yet succeeded despite other academic subjects having female majorities. This article investigates the extent to which gender disparities are subject-wide or nation-specific by a first author gender comparison of 30 million articles from all 27 Scopus broad fields within the 31 countries with the most Scopus-indexed articles 2014-18.

The results show overall and geocultural patterns as well as individual national differences. Almost half of the subjects were always more male (7; e.g., Mathematics) or always more female (6; e.g., Immunology & Microbiology) than the national average. A strong overall trend (Spearman correlation 0.546) is for countries with a higher proportion of female first-authored research to also have larger differences in gender disparities between fields (correlation 0.314 for gender ratios). This confirms the international gender equality paradox previously found for degree subject choices: increased gender equality overall associates with moderately greater gender differentiation between subjects. This is consistent with previous USA-based claims that gender differences in academic careers are partly due to (socially constrained) gender differences in personal preferences. Radical solutions may therefore be needed for some STEM subjects to overcome gender disparities.

Direct to Full Text Article (Preprint)
27 pages; PDF.

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.

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