Archive for November 1, 2016

Quantitative Evaluation of Gender Bias in Astronomical Publications from Citation Counts [IMA]

Posted in Uncategorized on November 1, 2016 by telescoper

Here’s an interesting paper from yesterday’s arXiv, looking at gender biases in various forms of bibliometric measures in the astronomical literature.

The key result is in Figure 6, if you haven’t got time to read the whole thing…


We analyze the role of first (leading) author gender on the number of citations that a paper receives, on the publishing frequency and on the self-citing tendency. We consider a complete sample of over 200,000 publications from 1950 to 2015 from five major astronomy journals. We determine the gender of the first author for over 70% of all publications. The fraction of papers which have a female first author has increased from less than 5% in the 1960s to about 25% today. We find that the increase of the fraction of papers authored by females is slowest in the most prestigious journals such as Science and Nature. Furthermore, female authors write 19$pm$7% fewer papers in seven years following their first paper than their male colleagues. At all times papers with male first authors receive more citations than papers with female first authors. This difference has been decreasing with time…

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