May 19, 2022

Research Paper: “COVID-19 Amplifies Gender Disparities in Research” (Preprint)

The following research paper (preprint) was posted to arXiv.


COVID-19 Amplifies Gender Disparities in Research


Goran Muric
USC Information Sciences Institute
USC Department of Computer Science

Kristina Lerman
USC Information Sciences Institute
USC Department of Computer Science

Emilio Ferrara
USC Information Sciences Institute
USC Department of Computer Science
USC Annenberg School of Communication


via arXiv


Early evidence suggests that women, including female researchers, are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with negative consequences to their productivity. Here, we test this hypothesis by analyzing the proportion of male and female researchers that publish scientific papers during the pandemic. We use data from biomedical preprint servers and Springer-Nature journals to show that the fraction of women publishing during the pandemic drops significantly across disciplines and research topics, after controlling for temporal trends. The impact is particularly pronounced for biomedical papers related to COVID-19 research. Further, by geocoding author’s affiliations, we show that gender disparities are exacerbated in poorer countries, even though these countries had less of a gender gap in research prior to the pandemic. Our results illustrate how exceptional events like a global pandemic can further amplify gender inequalities in research. Our work could inform fairer scientific evaluation practices, especially for early-career female researchers who may be disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Direct to Full Text Paper (Preprint)
3 pages; PDF.

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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.