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Gender differences in the aims and impacts of research

Author

Listed:
  • Lin Zhang

    (Wuhan University
    Wuhan University
    KU Leuven)

  • Gunnar Sivertsen

    (Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU))

  • Huiying Du

    (North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power)

  • Ying Huang

    (Wuhan University
    Wuhan University
    KU Leuven)

  • Wolfgang Glänzel

    (KU Leuven)

Abstract

This study uses mixed methods—classical citation analysis, altmetric analysis, a survey with researchers as respondents, and text analysis of the abstracts of scientific articles—to investigate gender differences in the aims and impacts of research. We find that male researchers more often value and engage in research mainly aimed at scientific progress, which is more cited. Female researchers more often value and engage in research mainly aimed at contributing to societal progress, which has more abstract views (usage). The gender differences are observed among researchers who work in the same field of research and have the same age and academic position. Our findings have implications for evaluation and funding policies and practices. A critical discussion of how societal engagement versus citation impact is valued, and how funding criteria reflect gender differences, is warranted.

Suggested Citation

  • Lin Zhang & Gunnar Sivertsen & Huiying Du & Ying Huang & Wolfgang Glänzel, 2021. "Gender differences in the aims and impacts of research," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 126(11), pages 8861-8886, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:126:y:2021:i:11:d:10.1007_s11192-021-04171-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-021-04171-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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