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Do females create higher impact research? Scopus citations and Mendeley readers for articles from five countries

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  • Thelwall, Mike

Abstract

There are known gender imbalances in participation in scientific fields, from female dominance of nursing to male dominance of mathematics. It is not clear whether there is also a citation imbalance, with some claiming that male-authored research tends to be more cited. No previous study has assessed gender differences in the readers of academic research on a large scale, however. In response, this article assesses whether there are gender differences in the average citations and/or Mendeley readers of academic publications. Field normalised logged Scopus citations and Mendeley readers from mid-2018 for articles published in 2014 were investigated for articles with first authors from India, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the USA in up to 251 fields with at least 50 male and female authors. Although female-authored research is less cited in Turkey (−4.0%) and India (−3.6%), it is marginally more cited in Spain (0.4%), the UK (0.4%), and the USA (0.2%). Female-authored research has fewer Mendeley readers in India (−1.1%) but more in Spain (1.4%), Turkey (1.1%), the UK (2.7%) and the USA (3.0%). Thus, whilst there may be little practical gender difference in citation impact in countries with mature science systems, the higher female readership impact suggests a wider audience for female-authored research. The results also show that the conclusions from a gender analysis depend on the field normalisation method. A theoretically informed decision must therefore be made about which normalisation to use. The results also suggest that arithmetic mean-based field normalisation is favourable to males.

Suggested Citation

  • Thelwall, Mike, 2018. "Do females create higher impact research? Scopus citations and Mendeley readers for articles from five countries," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 1031-1041.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:infome:v:12:y:2018:i:4:p:1031-1041
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joi.2018.08.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mike Thelwall & Tamara Nevill, 2019. "No evidence of citation bias as a determinant of STEM gender disparities in US biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology research," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 121(3), pages 1793-1801, December.
    2. Mike Thelwall, 2019. "The influence of highly cited papers on field normalised indicators," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 118(2), pages 519-537, February.
    3. Mike Thelwall, 2018. "Do gendered citation advantages influence field participation? Four unusual fields in the USA 1996–2017," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 117(3), pages 2133-2144, December.
    4. Kong, Xiangjie & Mao, Mengyi & Jiang, Huizhen & Yu, Shuo & Wan, Liangtian, 2019. "How does collaboration affect researchers’ positions in co-authorship networks?," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 887-900.
    5. Nunkoo, Robin & Hall, C. Michael & Rughoobur-Seetah, Soujata & Teeroovengadum, Viraiyan, 2019. "Citation practices in tourism research: Toward a gender conscientious engagement," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).

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    Keywords

    Gender; Citation analysis; Altmetrics; Mendeley;

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