Study Finds a Gender Gap in Publication Rates of Ph.D. Students

A new study by researchers at Indiana University, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Illinois found that doctoral students who are men tended to publish more papers than doctoral students who are women. This difference in publication rates may have a negative affect for women in faculty hiring decisions. The lead author of the study is Sarah Theule Lubienski, a professor in the School of Education at Indiana University.

The study said the pattern was particularly true in STEM fields. For example, male doctoral students in the physical sciences and engineering submitted an average of 7.2 articles for publication while Ph.D. students, compared to 5.5 articles for women doctoral students in these fields. The gender gap existed even in STEM disciplines in the biological sciences, where women have a greater presence. But the gender gap in publication rates was also evident for doctoral students in the social sciences and humanities.

The authors note that male doctoral students are more likely than their female counterparts to have research assistantships while women doctoral students spend more of their time teaching in the classroom. They also speculate that differences in faculty support, family responsibilities, and career goals may be contributing factors in the gender gap in publications for Ph.D. students.

The study, “Sex Differences in Doctoral Student Publication Rates,” was published on the website of the journal Educational Researcher. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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