Online space cannot be provided as an equalizer for female scientists

Credit: PIXTA / CC0 public domain

An online platform with low barriers to entry and no traditional gatekeeper promises wide participation and fairness for female scientists and could act as an equalizer for researchers facing prejudice throughout the publishing process and at all stages of their careers. there is.

However, according to a new study from Northwestern University, women are less successful than men in disseminating online research, and its scientific impact is Social capital Gender ties formation in co-authored networks is associated with the level of online success and success of men throughout the field of study, but not with the success of women.

Previous studies have established a wide range of gender inequality Science.. Disparities in income, support and promotion levels indicate that women’s studies are not as perceived as men’s studies. Successful studies online are important for addressing gender disparities, as visibility imbalances can result in downstream impacts on citations and awards.

“The barriers to resources, publications and high-profile lectures are historically rooted and difficult to break, but online spaces can be fairer,” said Emőke, professor of communications, lead author. -Ágnes Horvát says. “Still, what we see is that there is still a strong gender imbalance. This insight is novel, and at least online, it’s easy for female scholars to behave like male scholars. It’s worth noting because you can guess. “

“Gender inequality in the online dissemination of scholarly work” will be published in the journal on September 20, 2021. Minutes of the National Academy of Sciences (((PNAS).

Horvát, along with partners Orsolya Vásárhelyi (University of Warwick), Igor Zakhlebin (Northwestern University) and Staša Milojevic (Bloomington, Indiana University), has 537,486 people through Altmetric, a commonly used service for tracking online activity on academic content. Analyzed the online success of scientists in. The Altmetric data used included public articles mentioning social media posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit.

The authors found in 2012 that only 28.6% of scholars in all research disciplines whose research was mentioned online were women, less than their achievements. Men dominate the spread of online science in all 13 wide-ranging research disciplines, from medicine to physics to social sciences. Female scientist It is unlikely to be in the top 25% of the most successful scholars online. Women’s online presence remained lower than expected based on output five years later, although the gap was narrow.

The online successes found by the author are based on factors such as the impact of past work, social capital, and co-authored gender. But even in research areas where women are well represented, men tend to benefit disproportionately.

“This doesn’t just happen in chemistry, engineering, etc. It’s not related to research areas that traditionally have few female representatives,” says Horvat. “This is a common phenomenon.”

Horvát is currently investigating whether imbalances are likely the result of a biased perception that women’s studies are less important and less influential than men’s studies. woman You may not be self-promoting at the same speed and intensity as your male counterpart. Early findings suggest that both play a role.

The author argues that understanding visibility bias is essential for science to properly guide, retain, and recognize talented women’s scholars (and undervalued minorities).

Articles in medical journals written by women have fewer citations than those written by men

For more information:
Gender inequality in the online dissemination of scholarly research, PNAS (2021).

Quote: Online space is a female scientist obtained from on September 20, 2021 (September 20, 2021). Not delivered as an equalizer

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Online space cannot be provided as an equalizer for female scientists

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