The share of women among researchers has increased between four and 11 percentage points between the periods 1996-2000 and 2011-2015 among 12 geographies. Across these geographies, women's scholarly articles are cited or downloaded at similar rates to men's while women tend to publish fewer articles than men on average, demonstrating a gender balance in terms of research impact. These are among two of the key findings presented in a new global study, released by Elsevier, the information analytics company specializing in science and health.
Drawing upon high-quality data sources, analytical expertise and a unique gender disambiguation methodology, the comprehensive report, "Gender in the Global Research Landscape," measures research performance and gender representation over 20 years, across 12 geographies and 27 disciplines.
"Progress is occurring in terms of increased participation of women in research, albeit incrementally and unevenly, which is a sign that efforts to encourage women to engage in research, including in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, are gaining traction," said Dr. Holly Falk-Krzesinski, Elsevier's Vice President of Strategic Alliances-Global Academic Relations.
Between 1996 and 2000, among the 12 countries/regions that were studied, only Portugal had a women researcher population greater than 40%; by the period 2011-2015, nine countries/regions had a women researcher population of 40% or more. These countries/regions are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, France, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The remaining countries with still fewer than 40% women researchers are: Chile, Mexico and Japan.
General trends found across all countries/regions that were studied are:
Findings for specific countries/regions include:
"A lot of discussions around gender disparity are driven by experience and speculation. While that's a good place to start, there is a knowledge gap that makes it difficult to move to effective interventions and policy. With this report we bring empirical insight to those discussions. This data can be used -- and built upon -- by research leaders, research funding organizations, government and policy makers working on themes critical to the STEM industry," Falk-Krzesinski said.
The report is based on Elsevier's SciVal and Scopus data combined with name data from social media, applied onomastics and Wikipedia. The analyses were further informed by input from stakeholder organizations and individuals around the world including the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
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