Gender and Publishing

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Have you ever thought about how your smart phone came to be? While companies like Google, Apple, and Samsung get much of the attention, researchers at universities actually designed and invented the key components found these devices. For example, the lithium ion battery was perfected at the University of Texas, while the GPS was created at Johns Hopkins University. Researchers at Kentucky and the University Delaware developed the touch screen. The list goes on.

These innovations bring to the fore the role of research and research labs in university settings. But, who are these researchers, who publishes the work, and what role does gender play in this process?

These are some of the questions a group from the publisher Elesvier examined in a recent analysis of research from around the world.

According to the report, women have historically been under-represented in publishing research, but this is changing. Around the world, women now represent more than 40 percent of all researchers. They are well-represented in the Life and Health Sciences, but not in the Physical Sciences, such as astronomy or chemistry.

The analyses also showed that women and men have different types of research teams. Women are less likely than men to collaborate internationally on research papers. They were also less likely than men to work with people from the corporate sector.

However, women were more likely than men to engage in research that crossed disciplinary boundaries. That is, they publish work that extends beyond their specific academic focus.

Finally, not only are more women in publishing, but more researchers in general are studying gender. Research published in the areas of feminism, gender stereotyping, and gender identification is at an all-time high and continues to grow.