Journal Article: “Trends of Research Productivity Across Author Gender and Research Fields: A Multidisciplinary and Multi-Country Observational Study”
The article linked below was recently published by PLOS One.
Clara C. Zwack
Bibliographic properties of more than 75 million scholarly articles, are examined and trends in overall research productivity are analysed as a function of research field (over the period of 1970–2020) and author gender (over the period of 2006–2020). Potential disruptive effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are also investigated. Over the last decade (2010–2020), the annual number of publications have invariably increased every year with the largest relative increase in a single year happening in 2019 (more than 6% relative growth). But this momentum was interrupted in 2020. Trends show that Environmental Sciences and Engineering Environmental have been the fastest growing research fields. The disruption in patterns of scholarly publication due to the Covid-19 pandemic was unevenly distributed across fields, with Computer Science, Engineering and Social Science enduring the most notable declines. The overall trends of male and female productivity indicate that, in terms of absolute number of publications, the gender gap does not seem to be closing in any country. The trends in absolute gap between male and female authors is either parallel (e.g., Canada, Australia, England, USA) or widening (e.g., majority of countries, particularly Middle Eastern countries). In terms of the ratio of female to male productivity, however, the gap is narrowing almost invariably, though at markedly different rates across countries. While some countries are nearing a ratio of .7 and are well on track for a 0.9 female to male productivity ratio, our estimates show that certain countries (particularly across the Middle East) will not reach such targets within the next 100 years. Without interventional policies, a significant gap will continue to exist in such countries. The decrease or increase in research productivity during the first year of the pandemic, in contrast to trends established before 2020, was generally parallel for male and female authors. There has been no substantial gender difference in the disruption due to the pandemic. However, opposite trends were found in a few cases. It was observed that, in some countries (e.g., The Netherlands, The United States and Germany), male productivity has been more negatively affected by the pandemic. Overall, female research productivity seems to have been more resilient to the disruptive effect of Covid-19 pandemic, although the momentum of female researchers has been negatively affected in a comparable manner to that of males.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.