Efforts to combat continuing gender inequalities in academia need to be informed by evidence about where differences occur. Citations are relevant as potential evidence in appointment and promotion decisions, but it is unclear whether there have been historical gender differences in average citation impact that might explain the current shortfall of senior female academics. This study investigates the evolution of gender differences in citation impact 1996-2018 for six million articles from seven large English-speaking nations: Australia, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, UK, and the USA. The results show that a small female citation advantage has been the norm over time for all these countries except the USA, where there has been no practical difference. The female citation advantage is largest, and statistically significant in most years, for Australia and the UK. This suggests that any academic bias against citing female authored research cannot explain current employment inequalities. Nevertheless, comparisons using recent citation data, or avoiding it altogether, during appointments or promotion may disadvantage females in some countries by underestimating the likely impact of their work, especially in the long term.
- Pub Date:
- April 2019
- Computer Science - Digital Libraries
- Thelwall, M. (in press). Female citation impact superiority 1996-2018 in six out of seven English-speaking nations. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology