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How do men and women differ in research collaborations? An analysis of the collaborative motives and strategies of academic researchers


  • Bozeman, Barry
  • Gaughan, Monica


Do men and women academic faculty vary in their research collaboration patterns and strategies? This straightforward question does not lend itself to a straightforward answer. A great many sex-correlated variables could possibly mitigate the relationship of sex and collaboration. If one finds sex-correlated differences in the number of collaborators, can one infer that there is something intrinsic to men's and women's work strategies and preferences? Or would such differences owe instead to women's and men's different positions in work structures and hierarchies? The focus here is on two sets of research collaboration variables, numbers of collaborators and the collaboration strategies employed. The study uses questionnaire data from the U.S. National Survey of Academic Scientists (n=1714) and tests several hypotheses about collaboration numbers and strategies. Regression results indicate, counter to the core hypotheses and almost all published literature, that in a properly specified model, one taking into account such factors as tenure, discipline, family status and doctoral cohort, women actually have somewhat more collaborators on average than do men. For both men and women, those with more industrial interactions and those affiliated with university research centers have more collaborators. Men and women differ in their collaborator choice strategies. Men are more likely to be oriented to “instrumental,” and “experience” strategies, while both men and women are motivated by “mentoring” strategies. Regression analyses show that for both men and women, having a coherent collaborator choice strategy predicts the number of collaborators.

Suggested Citation

  • Bozeman, Barry & Gaughan, Monica, 2011. "How do men and women differ in research collaborations? An analysis of the collaborative motives and strategies of academic researchers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1393-1402.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:10:p:1393-1402 DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2011.07.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bozeman, Barry & Gaughan, Monica, 2007. "Impacts of grants and contracts on academic researchers' interactions with industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 694-707, June.
    2. Heinze, Thomas & Bauer, Gerrit, 2006. "Characterizing creative scientists in nano S & T: productivity, multidisciplinarity, and network brokerage in a longitudinal perspective," Discussion Papers "Innovation Systems and Policy Analysis" 11, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
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    4. Boardman, P. Craig & Corley, Elizabeth A., 2008. "University research centers and the composition of research collaborations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 900-913, June.
    5. Monica Gaughan & Branco Ponomariov, 2008. "Faculty publication productivity, collaboration, and grants velocity: using curricula vitae to compare center-affiliated and unaffiliated scientists," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 103-110, June.
    6. Melin, Goran, 2000. "Pragmatism and self-organization: Research collaboration on the individual level," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 31-40, January.
    7. Katz, J. Sylvan & Martin, Ben R., 1997. "What is research collaboration?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, March.
    8. Min-Wei Lin & Barry Bozeman, 2006. "Researchers’ Industry Experience and Productivity in University–Industry Research Centers: A “Scientific and Technical Human Capital” Explanation," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 269-290, March.
    9. Bozeman, Barry & Corley, Elizabeth, 2004. "Scientists' collaboration strategies: implications for scientific and technical human capital," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 599-616, May.
    10. Link, Albert N. & Swann, Christopher A. & Bozeman, Barry, 2008. "A time allocation study of university faculty," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 363-374, August.
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    1. Crescenzi, Riccardo & Nathan, Max & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2016. "Do inventors talk to strangers? On proximity and collaborative knowledge creation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 177-194.
    2. Meng, Yu, 2016. "Collaboration patterns and patenting: Exploring gender distinctions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 56-67.
    3. repec:spr:scient:v:98:y:2014:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-013-1185-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Lettice, Fiona & Smart, Palie & Baruch, Yehuda & Johnson, Mark, 2012. "Navigating the impact-innovation double hurdle: The case of a climate change research fund," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1048-1057.
    5. Bernhard Dachs & Bernd Ebersberger & Steffen Kinkel & Oliver Som, 2015. "The effects of production offshoring on R&D and innovation in the home country," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(1), pages 9-31, March.
    6. Rajeev Goel & Devrim Göktepe-Hultén & Rati Ram, 2015. "Academics’ entrepreneurship propensities and gender differences," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 161-177, February.
    7. Schuelke-Leech, Beth-Anne, 2013. "Resources and research: An empirical study of the influence of departmental research resources on individual STEM researchers involvement with industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1667-1678.
    8. Hanna Hottenrott & Cornelia Lawson, 2014. "Research grants, sources of ideas and the effects on academic research," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 109-133, March.
    9. Joya Misra & Laurel Smith-Doerr & Nilanjana Dasgupta & Gabriela Weaver & Jennifer Normanly, 2017. "Collaboration and Gender Equity among Academic Scientists," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(1), pages 1-22, March.
    10. Clemens B. Fell & Cornelius J. König, 2016. "Is there a gender difference in scientific collaboration? A scientometric examination of co-authorships among industrial–organizational psychologists," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 108(1), pages 113-141, July.
    11. Li, Feng & Miao, Yajun & Yang, Chenchen, 2015. "How do alumni faculty behave in research collaboration? An analysis of Chang Jiang Scholars in China," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 438-450.
    12. repec:spr:scient:v:112:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2386-y is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9512-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Abramo, Giovanni & D’Angelo, Ciriaco Andrea & Murgia, Gianluca, 2013. "Gender differences in research collaboration," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 811-822.
    15. Herstad, Sverre J. & Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Ebersberger, Bernd, 2014. "On industrial knowledge bases, commercial opportunities and global innovation network linkages," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 495-504.
    16. Araújo, Tanya & Fontainha, Elsa, 2017. "The specific shapes of gender imbalance in scientific authorships: A network approach," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 88-102.
    17. Ruslan Rakhmatullin & Louis Brennan, 2014. "Motivation Behind Researchers’ Participation in Formal Networking Research Projects Funded by the European Union," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 5(2), pages 305-329, June.
    18. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:2:p:511-526 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Brooks, Chris & Fenton, Evelyn M. & Walker, James T., 2014. "Gender and the evaluation of research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 990-1001.
    20. Díaz-Faes, Adrián A. & Costas, Rodrigo & Galindo, M. Purificación & Bordons, María, 2015. "Unravelling the performance of individual scholars: Use of Canonical Biplot analysis to explore the performance of scientists by academic rank and scientific field," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 722-733.


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