Category: Women's Issues / Gender

Symposium

Gender Bias in Publishing: Evidence for Progress, Room for Improvement

Sunday, November 19
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Indigo 204, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Women's Issues | Publishing | Gender
Presentation Type: Symposium

Women remain underrepresented in faculty positions, especially at more advanced career stages, a pattern of disproportionate drop-out referred to as the “leaky pipeline.” Gender inequity in the academy is increasingly attributed to structural and institutional factors, including biases in academic publishing. We sought to evaluate the current representation of women among authors published in Behavior Therapy, along with evidence for biases in the recognition of women’s work, as indicated by citation counts.


We examined articles published in 2015 (n = 70), 2014 (n = 73), 2013 (n = 63), and 1985 (n = 51). We excluded editorials (n = 1), introductions to special series (n = 1), corrigenda (n = 2), and replies to previously published articles (n = 4), leaving 249 articles to be analyzed. Article citation counts were retrieved using Google Scholar and are current as of March 2017.


 The mean percentage of female authors per article was significantly higher in 2015 (M = 50.07, SD = 27.72), compared to 1985 [M = 27.48, SD = 31.64; F (1, 114) = 16.54, p < .001, ηp2 = .13], as was the percentage of papers first-authored by women (53.6%, n = 37 vs. 21.3%, n = 10; χ2 = 12.14, p = .001, φ = .32). From 1985 to 2015, there was a significant decrease in the number of articles without any female co-authors (48.9%, n = 23 vs. 8.7%, n = 6; χ2 = 24.14, p < .001, φ = .46).


 The mean percentage of female authors of articles published between 2013 and 2015 was 48.22 (SD = 30.05), with 48.0% (n = 97) of all articles first-authored by women. Women remain less likely to be single authors on papers, compared to men (1.0%, n = 2 vs. 5.9%, n = 12). Articles first-authored by women in this three-year time period were cited significantly less frequently than papers first-authored by men [M = 13.64, SD = 13.14 vs. M = 21.37, SD = 32.21; F (1, 200) = 4.84, p = .03, ηp2 = .02].


 There has been significant progress towards equal representation of women among authors in Behavior Therapy, including as first authors. Papers first-authored by women are cited less frequently, compared to men, suggesting room for improvement when it comes to the formal recognition of women’s contributions to the field.

Julia M. Hormes

Assistant Professor
University at Albany, SUNY

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