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Solving the productivity and impact puzzle: do men outperform women, or are metrics biased?


Cameron, EZ and White, AM and Gray, ME, Solving the productivity and impact puzzle: do men outperform women, or are metrics biased?, Bioscience, 66, (3) pp. 245-252. ISSN 0006-3568 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1093/biosci/biv173


The attrition of women from science with increasing career stage continues, suggesting that current strategies are unsuccessful. Research evaluation using unbiased metrics could be important for the retention of women, because other factors such as implicit bias are unlikely to quickly change. We compare the publishing patterns of men and women within the discipline of ecology and show sexual dimorphism in self-citation leading to higher h-index scores for men despite lower citations per paper, which is exacerbated by more career absences by women. However, if self-citations and non-research active years are excluded, there are no gender differences in research performance. The pattern is consistent across disciplines and may contribute to current geographic disparities in research performance, rewarding confident behavior and traditional career paths rather than research impact. Importantly, these changes would not disadvantage anyone, because self-citation does not indicate broader impact, and researchers should only be judged on their research-active career.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:women in science, gender bias, ecology, geographic variation, gender differences
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Ecology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Antarctic and Southern Ocean oceanic processes
UTAS Author:Cameron, EZ (Professor Elissa Cameron)
ID Code:107457
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:51
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2016-03-16
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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