Astronomy Papers With a Woman as Lead Author Are Cited Less Than Articles With a Male Lead Author

A study, conducted by scholars at the Institute for Astronomy at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, finds that academic papers in astronomy where the lead author is a woman get 10 percent fewer citations, on average, than papers where a man is the lead author.

The study included nearly 150,000 academic papers published in five major journals of astronomy during the years 1950 to 2015. In papers from the early years of the study, the gender gap was huge. Since 1985, papers with women lead authors have received, on average, 6 percent fewer citations than astronomy papers where the lead author has been a man.

Lead author Neven Caplar states that “if I have 10 percent more citations than a woman with the same quality paper, I would be more likely to get the job.”

The full study, “Quantitative Evaluation of Gender Bias in Astronomical Publications From Citation Counts,” was published on the website of the journal Nature Astronomy. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/StudySTEM Fields

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