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ResourcesResearch IntegrityPerish not publish? New study quantifies the lack of female authors in scientific journals – The Conversation (Ione Fine and Alicia Shen | March 2018)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Perish not publish? New study quantifies the lack of female authors in scientific journals – The Conversation (Ione Fine and Alicia Shen | March 2018)

Published/Released on March 08, 2018 | Posted by Admin on November 2, 2018 / , , , , ,
 


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“Publish or perish” is tattooed on the mind of every academic. Like it or loathe it, publishing in high-profile journals is the fast track to positions in prestigious universities with illustrious colleagues and lavish resources, celebrated awards and plentiful grant funding. Yet somehow, in the search to understand why women’s scientific careers often fail to thrive, the role of high-impact journals has received little scrutiny.

One reason is that these journals don’t even collect data about the gender or ethnic background of their authors. To examine the representation of women within these journals, with our colleagues Jason Webster and Yuichi Shoda, we delved into MEDLINE, the online repository that contains records of almost every published peer-reviewed neuroscience article. We used the Genderize.io database to predict the gender of first and last authors on over 166,000 articles published between 2005 and 2017 in high-profile journals that include neuroscience, our own scientific discipline. The results were dispiriting.

Female scientists underrepresented

We began by looking at first authors – the place in the author list that traditionally is held by the junior researcher who does the hands-on research. We expected over 40 percent to be women, similar to the percentage of women postdocs in neuroscience in the U.S. and Europe. Instead, fewer than 25 percent first authors in the journals Nature and Science were women.

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