A Different Perspective on the Gender Gap in Academic Publishing During the Pandemic

Several studies have shown that the gender gap in academic publishing increased in the initial phase of the worldwide pandemic. Women were impacted by increased responsibilities for childcare, housework, and eldercare. As a result, the conventional wisdom is that women academics had less time to conduct research and write papers.

But a new study by researchers at Kozminski University in Poland finds that the impact of the pandemic on the gender gap in publication rates may be overblown. Researchers studied the first names of authors of 266,409 articles from 2,813 journals in 21 academic disciplines. They found no significant differences between men and women in publication patterns between 2021, 2020, and 2019 overall. However, they found significant differences in publication patterns between men and women in different disciplines.

The pandemic had the biggest negative impact on women’s publishing were in the fields of psychology, mathematics, and philosophy. But women increased their share of authorship of academic articles in geography, dentistry, and energy.

The author concluded that “overall, our results clearly indicate that COVID-19 bias in gender publication patterns is not clear, the picture is complicated, and calls for further studies.”

The full study, “COVID-19 Effect on the Gender Gap in Academic Publishing,” was published on the website of the Journal of Information Science. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study

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