Women are much less likely than men to be recognized as the author of a scientific discovery, according to a recent study

A new study has found that women working in scientific research are less likely to get author credits on research articles, especially in articles considered “high impact”. The study also found that the gender difference in the preparation of patent-related projects was 59%. Data suggest that female scientists are less likely than their male counterparts to receive author credits or be named on patents related to their work, including in areas such as health care, where women are the majority.

Women participating in scientific research are less likely to be credited as authors than their male counterparts, and they are more likely to report discrimination and underestimation of their contributions, according to the new study, Women are less credited in science than men. This gender difference may help to explain well-documented differences in the apparent contributions of male and female scientists such as Rosalind Franklins, whose crucial contribution to the discovery of the structure of DNA initially went unnoticed because it was not quoted in the headline Nature article by James Watson and Francis Crick.

We have long known that women issue and file patents at a lower rate than men. But since the previous data never indicated who participated in the research, no one knew why, said Professor Julia Lane of New York University, who led the new study.

Lane and his colleagues analyzed administrative data from research projects conducted at 52 U.S. colleges and universities between 2013 and 2016. They matched information on 128,859 scientists with 39,426 journal articles and 7,675 patents. .

The study suggests that Rosalind Franklin was far from alone in not receiving the necessary credit for her work. The study revealed that men across all positions and areas were, on average, about twice as likely as women to be cited in a scientific article or patent by their research team. This gap was seen in female-dominated areas, such as health, as well as male-dominated areas, such as engineering, and was particularly evident early in women’s careers. For example, only 15 out of 100 female candidates were cited as authors in a publication, compared with 21 out of 100 for their male counterparts.

Julia Lane commented on these findings in these terms: There is a clear difference between the proportion of co-authorship for publications for women and men. This gap is strong, persistent and independent of the research area. I fear it will deter young women from pursuing a career in science.

The team also examined more than 2,400 published scientists and asked if they had ever been excluded from a paper they had contributed to and why they thought this was happening. Among women, 43% said they had been excluded from a position, compared to 38% of men. The most common explanation was that others had underestimated their contributions, but women were twice as likely to cite discrimination or bias as the explanation, while men were more likely to say that their contributions did not justify author status.

Dr. Tina Joshi, associate professor of molecular microbiology at Plymouth University, said: This study is welcome because it highlights the fact that women are not the authors of their work: it is a welcome study that highlights the gender difference that many women continue to face. for in the academic world. We can continue to challenge this inequality as an academic community by encouraging dialogue on equality, diversity and inclusion and by working together to give all researchers credit for their contributions.

Source: Nature

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