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Which gender gap? Factors affecting researchers’ scientific impact in science and medicine


  • Beaudry, Catherine
  • Larivière, Vincent


The article examines whether scientific production, research funding, Impact Factor of journals and size of collaborative teams have an influence on the propensity to receive more citations, and whether the influence of these factors differs across genders. Using a very complete database of funding, scientific papers and citations compiled at the individual researchers’ level, we estimate panel data regressions on the discipline-normalised citation rates of individual academics in Quebec. Our results show that although most of the indicators examined have a positive influence on the relative citation rate, when it comes to gender differences, not having enough public funding and raising private funding appear slightly detrimental for women in the health sciences. In addition, when women collaborate with the same number of co-authors as men, or target similar Impact Factor journals, their articles are less cited then those of their male colleagues. Almost no gender effect is found in the natural sciences and engineering where women are still a minority. Our results worryingly show that academics who publish with a larger proportion of female co-authors are less cited. Furthermore, when targeting similar Impact Factor journals, researchers who collaborate with a higher proportion of female co-authors are consistently less cited in both the health and NSE fields than if they were publishing with a male dominated group of co-authors.

Suggested Citation

  • Beaudry, Catherine & Larivière, Vincent, 2016. "Which gender gap? Factors affecting researchers’ scientific impact in science and medicine," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1790-1817.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:45:y:2016:i:9:p:1790-1817
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2016.05.009

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:adr:anecst:y:1998:i:49-50:p:06 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Beaudry, Catherine & Allaoui, Sedki, 2012. "Impact of public and private research funding on scientific production: The case of nanotechnology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1589-1606.
    3. Gonzalez-Brambila, Claudia & Veloso, Francisco M., 2007. "The determinants of research output and impact: A study of Mexican researchers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1035-1051, September.
    4. Maliniak, Daniel & Powers, Ryan & Walter, Barbara F., 2013. "The Gender Citation Gap in International Relations," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 889-922, October.
    5. Vincent Larivière & Yves Gingras, 2010. "The impact factor's Matthew Effect: A natural experiment in bibliometrics," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 61(2), pages 424-427, February.
    6. Donna K. Ginther & Shulamit Kahn, 2009. "Does Science Promote Women? Evidence from Academia 1973-2001," NBER Chapters, in: Science and Engineering Careers in the United States: An Analysis of Markets and Employment, pages 163-194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. repec:adr:anecst:y:1998:i:49-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Rhoten, Diana & Pfirman, Stephanie, 2007. "Women in interdisciplinary science: Exploring preferences and consequences," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 56-75, February.
    9. Dag W. Aksnes & Kristoffer Rorstad & Fredrik Piro & Gunnar Sivertsen, 2011. "Are female researchers less cited? A large-scale study of Norwegian scientists," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 62(4), pages 628-636, April.
    10. Ashish Arora & Paul David & Alfonso Gambardella, 1998. "Reputation and Competence in Publicly Funded Science: Estimating the Effects on Research Group Productivity," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 49-50, pages 163-198.
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    Cited by:

    1. Broström, Anders, 2019. "Academic breeding grounds: Home department conditions and early career performance of academic researchers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(7), pages 1647-1665.
    2. 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.
    3. Filandri, Marianna & Pasqua, Silvia, 2019. "Gender discrimination in academic careers in Italy," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201921, University of Turin.
    4. Abdelghani Maddi & Vincent Larivière & Yves Gingras, 2018. "Comportements de collaboration homme-femme et visibilité scientifique en économie et en gestion," CEPN Working Papers hal-01922263, HAL.
    5. Tanya Araújo & Elsa Fontainha, 2018. "Are scientific memes inherited differently from gendered authorship?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 117(2), pages 953-972, November.
    6. Sabrina J. Mayer & Justus M. K. Rathmann, 2018. "How does research productivity relate to gender? Analyzing gender differences for multiple publication dimensions," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 117(3), pages 1663-1693, December.
    7. Jappelli, Tullio & Nappi, Carmela Anna & Torrini, Roberto, 2017. "Gender effects in research evaluation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 911-924.
    8. Matthias Potthoff & Fabian Zimmermann, 2017. "Is there a gender-based fragmentation of communication science? An investigation of the reasons for the apparent gender homophily in citations," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 112(2), pages 1047-1063, August.


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