Task 2: Joint data-backed study on publication patterns

Task 2: Joint data-backed study on publication patterns

A solid publication record is a key factor in a successful academic career. In mathematics, a recent study on publication patterns based on comprehensive metadata sources showed a systemic gender imbalance in the publication distribution of mathematicians. Using four decades of data, it was shown that women mathematicians tripled their number since 1970, but publish less than men at the beginning of their careers, and leave academia at a higher rate. High-ranked journals publish fewer articles by women, some showing less than 5% authorships by women with no change over time. Women publish fewer single authored papers, although their coauthor networks are similar in size to those of men.

Authorships by women in mathematics

Percentage of authorships by women since 1970.

The darker green line shows the share of authors that could be identified as women, marking the lower limit. The shadowed region delimits the extrapolated values taking into account that we could only assign a gender to 61.4% of all authorships. We estimate the proportion of women in the remaining group of authors to be smaller than their share in the identified group and conclude that the percentage of women among all authorships lies within the shadowed region.

Similar methodology will be used to study publication patterns in physics, chemistry, astronomy, if possible biology and computer science, and across countries and regions. This will allow us to understand common and discipline-specific issues that require interventions. We will develop some new items for the survey appropriate to different disciplines to determine specific areas of inequality at which to target recommendations. A key objective is to create a sustainable and dynamic methodology to provide a continuous data processing flow, and hence allow for easy updates and longitudinal data analyses.

Update by the end of the project: the interactive tool on publication patterns can be accessed here.