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Sex differences in research funding, productivity and impact: an analysis of Québec university professors


  • Vincent Larivière

    (Université du Québec à Montréal
    Indiana University)

  • Etienne Vignola-Gagné

    (Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI)
    University of Vienna)

  • Christian Villeneuve

    (Université du Québec (UQSS))

  • Pascal Gélinas

    (Direction des Politiques et Analyses, Ministère du Développement Économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation)

  • Yves Gingras

    (Université du Québec à Montréal)


Using the entire population of professors at universities in the province of Quebec (Canada), this article analyzes the relationship between sex and research funding, publication rates, and scientific impact. Since age is an important factor in research and the population pyramids of men and women are different, the role of age is also analyzed. The article shows that, after they have passed the age of about 38, women receive, on average, less funding for research than men, are generally less productive in terms of publications, and are at a slight disadvantage in terms of the scientific impact (measured by citations) of their publications. Various explanations for these differences are suggested, such as the more restricted collaboration networks of women, motherhood and the accompanying division of labour, women’s rank within the hierarchy of the scientific community and access to resources as well as their choice of research topics and level of specialization.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincent Larivière & Etienne Vignola-Gagné & Christian Villeneuve & Pascal Gélinas & Yves Gingras, 2011. "Sex differences in research funding, productivity and impact: an analysis of Québec university professors," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 87(3), pages 483-498, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:87:y:2011:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-011-0369-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-011-0369-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Éric Archambault & Étienne Vignola-Gagné & Grégoire Côté & Vincent Larivière & Yves Gingrasb, 2006. "Benchmarking scientific output in the social sciences and humanities: The limits of existing databases," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 68(3), pages 329-342, September.
    2. 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.
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    4. Éric Archambault & Vincent Larivière, 2009. "History of the journal impact factor: Contingencies and consequences," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 79(3), pages 635-649, June.
    5. Kjersten Whittington & Laurel Smith-Doerr, 2005. "Gender and Commercial Science: Women’s Patenting in the Life Sciences," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 355-370, October.
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    7. Katarina Prpić, 2002. "Gender and productivity differentials in science," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 55(1), pages 27-58, September.
    8. Vladimir Pislyakov & Ekaterina Dyachenko, 2010. "Citation expectations: are they realized? Study of the Matthew index for Russian papers published abroad," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 83(3), pages 739-749, June.
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