Gender differences in scientific productivity: a persisting phenomenon?
- Young female scientist are narrowing the gender gap
- Discipline differences
- Towards more equal participation and output
- More information
Gendered performance differences in science are disappearing. In the top 10% of the performance rankings females and males are equally represented, especially in scientific areas with a large share of female scientists. This is the outcome of a study conducted by researchers at the Rathenau Instituut, VU (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and CWTS. They counted the number of publications of social scientists and looked how much they are cited. The results are recently published in Scientometrics and this week also in the Dutch journal Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies.
In the established generation male scientists published more (43%) compared to their female colleagues and are also cited more frequently (33%), but this is not the case in the younger generation. We found differences between the different social and behavioral sciences. The performance gap is narrowing even more pronounced within fields in which female scientists have become the majority in the younger generation, as for example in psychology. Female psychology researchers are overrepresented in the top 10% of both the number of publications and citations.
There is general agreement that we need more women in science. In recent years, programs are developed to promote the advancement of women in science. The study of Pleun van Arensbergen (Rathenau Instituut), Peter van den Besselaar (VU) and CWTS researcher Inge van der Weijden show that the increasing participation of women in academic positions also resulted in an increase in the number of high performing female scientists. In the established generation, the proportion high performing female scientists is 1:28; in the young generation 1:11. Among male researchers, this proportion is 1:9 in both the young and the established generation.
Van Arensbergen, P., Van der Weijden, I., & van den Besselaar, P. (2012). Gender differences in scientific productivity: a persisting phenomenon? Scientometrics. DOI: 10.1007/s11192-012-0712-y
Van Arensbergen, P., Van der Weijden, I., & Van den Besselaar, P. (2012). Presteren mannelijke onderzoekers nog altijd beter dan vrouwen? Een vergelijking tussen generaties. Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies, 15, 3.