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How does research productivity relate to gender? Analyzing gender differences for multiple publication dimensions


Mayer, Sabrina Jasmin; Rathmann, Justus M K (2018). How does research productivity relate to gender? Analyzing gender differences for multiple publication dimensions. Scientometrics, 117(3):1663-1693.

Abstract

Measures of research productivity have become widely used for obtaining tenure, third party funding, and additional resources from universities. However, previous studies indicate that men might have a higher research output than women, with mixed conclusions about the factors that drive these differences. This study explores to what extent the
research productivity of psychology professors in Germany is related to gender and, furthermore, how any gender gaps can be explained by controlling for individual and organizational factors. In addition, three publication dimensions (publications in top 10% journals, journal articles, and book and collection chapters) are distinguished to determine
the effect of gender on research productivity as precisely as possible. A unique data set based on all full professors in psychology in Germany and their publication record in 2013 and 2014 is used ( N authors = 294; N articles = 2252, N chapters = 439). Thus, this study provides a current overview of the state of research productivity in an entire discipline after researchers receive tenure and external restrictions are lessened. Our research helps to further
locate the point at which gender differences in publication numbers occur. As we are the first to systematically to analyze different publication types, we are able to show that there is no difference in publication numbers for less-prestigious book chapters. However, we find significant gender differences for research productivity in academic journals that are more important for career advancement and peer recognition, even after we control for the most important individual and organizational factors that might explain gender differences. Our results point to the direction that women do research and write manuscripts, but may have different publication patterns: instead of submitting to competitive journals, they may be satisfied with less-prestigious book chapters. As publications in peer-reviewed
journals are especially important for career advancement as well as peer recognition, this publication pattern may be disadvantageous for women. Overall, we conclude that additional research to understand these developments is needed that focuses on the motives and beliefs of researchers, both to improve gender equality in academia and to give women better chances to gain recognition and prestige.

Abstract

Measures of research productivity have become widely used for obtaining tenure, third party funding, and additional resources from universities. However, previous studies indicate that men might have a higher research output than women, with mixed conclusions about the factors that drive these differences. This study explores to what extent the
research productivity of psychology professors in Germany is related to gender and, furthermore, how any gender gaps can be explained by controlling for individual and organizational factors. In addition, three publication dimensions (publications in top 10% journals, journal articles, and book and collection chapters) are distinguished to determine
the effect of gender on research productivity as precisely as possible. A unique data set based on all full professors in psychology in Germany and their publication record in 2013 and 2014 is used ( N authors = 294; N articles = 2252, N chapters = 439). Thus, this study provides a current overview of the state of research productivity in an entire discipline after researchers receive tenure and external restrictions are lessened. Our research helps to further
locate the point at which gender differences in publication numbers occur. As we are the first to systematically to analyze different publication types, we are able to show that there is no difference in publication numbers for less-prestigious book chapters. However, we find significant gender differences for research productivity in academic journals that are more important for career advancement and peer recognition, even after we control for the most important individual and organizational factors that might explain gender differences. Our results point to the direction that women do research and write manuscripts, but may have different publication patterns: instead of submitting to competitive journals, they may be satisfied with less-prestigious book chapters. As publications in peer-reviewed
journals are especially important for career advancement as well as peer recognition, this publication pattern may be disadvantageous for women. Overall, we conclude that additional research to understand these developments is needed that focuses on the motives and beliefs of researchers, both to improve gender equality in academia and to give women better chances to gain recognition and prestige.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > General Social Sciences
Physical Sciences > Computer Science Applications
Social Sciences & Humanities > Library and Information Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:Research productivity, Gender differences, Publication output, Psychology
Language:English
Date:1 December 2018
Deposited On:06 Feb 2019 10:05
Last Modified:23 Aug 2020 07:16
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0138-9130
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-018-2933-1
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDBSSGI0_155981
  • : Project TitleSocial norms, cooperation and conflict in scientific collaborations

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