Is there a gender imbalance in neuroscience citations?

Today at the seminar of our research grup have discussed the following paper about gender imbalance in neuroscience citations:

The extent and drivers of gender imbalance in neuroscience reference lists

Jordan D. Dworkin, Kristin A. Linn, Erin G. Teich, Perry Zurn, Russell T. Shinohara, and Danielle S. Bassett

Nature Neuroscience volume 23, pages 918–926 (2020) – DOI: 10.1038/s41593-020-0658-y

Here are som highlights of the paper:

  • Authors studied whether gendered patterns are present in the citations of neuroscience papers and used +60.000 articles from 5-top neuroscience journals.
  • It seems that reference lists tend to include more articles with men as first and last author than would be expected if gender were not a factor for citation.
  • This imbalance is driven largely by the citation practices of men and is increasing over time as the field diversifies.

The authors also provide potential drivers of this behaviour in citations and it’s basically an un/conscious biases among men and they come from many carry over effects of the field itself.

To conclude, there are many imbalances in the field (and research in general) and it seems that this particular one is perpetuated by researchers at all levels.

At the very end of the seminar, I decided to be more aware of my own citations in my papers and I created a profile in Women in Neuroscience.

Related research: (In)citing action to realize an equitable future by Dwarkin et al., (2020)


Featured image from Pexels – C0 license.

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