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Bias against research on gender bias


  • Aleksandra Cislak

    (Nicolaus Copernicus University)

  • Magdalena Formanowicz

    () (University of Bern)

  • Tamar Saguy

    (Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya)


The bias against women in academia is a documented phenomenon that has had detrimental consequences, not only for women, but also for the quality of science. First, gender bias in academia affects female scientists, resulting in their underrepresentation in academic institutions, particularly in higher ranks. The second type of gender bias in science relates to some findings applying only to male participants, which produces biased knowledge. Here, we identify a third potentially powerful source of gender bias in academia: the bias against research on gender bias. In a bibliometric investigation covering a broad range of social sciences, we analyzed published articles on gender bias and race bias and established that articles on gender bias are funded less often and published in journals with a lower Impact Factor than articles on comparable instances of social discrimination. This result suggests the possibility of an underappreciation of the phenomenon of gender bias and related research within the academic community. Addressing this meta-bias is crucial for the further examination of gender inequality, which severely affects many women across the world.

Suggested Citation

  • Aleksandra Cislak & Magdalena Formanowicz & Tamar Saguy, 2018. "Bias against research on gender bias," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 115(1), pages 189-200, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:115:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-018-2667-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-018-2667-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hildrun Kretschmer & Ramesh Kundra & Donald deB. Beaver & Theo Kretschmer, 2012. "Gender bias in journals of gender studies," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 93(1), pages 135-150, October.
    2. T. Edison Carter & Thomas E. Smith & Philip J. Osteen, 2017. "Gender comparisons of social work faculty using H-Index scores," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 111(3), pages 1547-1557, June.
    3. Rickard Danell & Mikael Hjerm, 2013. "Career prospects for female university researchers have not improved," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 94(3), pages 999-1006, March.
    4. Cornelius J. König & Clemens B. Fell & Linus Kellnhofer & Gabriel Schui, 2015. "Are there gender differences among researchers from industrial/organizational psychology?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 105(3), pages 1931-1952, December.
    5. Michał Krawczyk, 2017. "Are all researchers male? Gender misattributions in citations," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 110(3), pages 1397-1402, March.
    6. Silje Lundgren & Margrit Shildrick & David Lawrence, 2015. "Rethinking bibliometric data concerning gender studies: a response to Söderlund and Madison," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 105(3), pages 1389-1398, December.
    7. Therese Söderlund & Guy Madison, 2015. "Characteristics of gender studies publications: a bibliometric analysis based on a Swedish population database," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 105(3), pages 1347-1387, December.
    8. Allison L. Hopkins & James W. Jawitz & Christopher McCarty & Alex Goldman & Nandita B. Basu, 2013. "Disparities in publication patterns by gender, race and ethnicity based on a survey of a random sample of authors," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 96(2), pages 515-534, August.
    9. Guy Madison & Therese Söderlund, 2016. "Can gender studies be studied? Reply to comments on Söderlund and Madison," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 108(1), pages 329-335, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aaron Baugh & Reginald F. Baugh, 2020. "Assessment of Diversity Outcomes in American Medical School Admissions: Applying the Grutter Legitimacy Principles," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(12), pages 1-17, June.


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