Thursday, August 18, 2022
Tom Snee

Even though more and more women have become science researchers in recent decades, male researchers still publish significantly more papers on average and generate more citations.

A team of researchers from the Tippie College of Business has recently been awarded a $288,779 grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate why these disparities persist.

“These gender gaps are even wider in the United States than the global average, and understanding causes of persistent gender gaps in research is of grave significance for improving gender equality in academic institutions,” said Rong Su, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship, who will lead the study with Kang Zhao, associate professor of business analytics in Tippie.

Su said that while the number of female scientists has been increasing since the 1960s, men still published 35% more papers and received 34% more citations than women in the 2000s. As both researchers use analytics extensively in their work, Su and Zhao will examine the publication records of more than 90 million researchers around the world in an effort to explain the gender gaps.

They’ll investigate to what extent the cause of the gaps is that gender role norms and expectations may lead female and male scholars to collaborate differently with junior researchers and lower topic fit for women, which, in turn, would lead to a productivity penalty for women. The project will also examine differences across academic disciplines and analyze trends over time in order to inform institutional policies and practices for advancing gender equality in academic science.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010 (o); 319-541-8434 (c); Tom-snee@uiowa.edu