It's no secret that sex inequality still exists in science. Despite efforts to narrow the gap, disparities still exist in hiring, earnings, funding, and publishing. An analysis of over 5.4 million research papers, released this week in the journal Nature, confirms that women are significantly underrepresented in academic publishing worldwide.
There are some geographical differences, but interestingly those regions where there was parity were low output areas.
Women suffer very specific disadvantages:
Women are also much less likely to be listed in the prestigious first and last author positions. For every article with a female first author, there are nearly two articles first-authored by men. Women are also significantly less likely to produce single-author papers. When women are the first, last, or sole author on a study, the paper attracts fewer citations than when a man has one of these roles.
The article goes further in depth on the study and how it fits in with other recent studies showing similarly disappointing results.
It's useful to note that this study comes amidst a context of women in science publicly acknowledging how they are treated at both the professional and public levels. As was reported widely earlier this year, Scientific American had to deal with fallout from the behavior of their editor Bora Zivkovic. That was precipitated by Biology-Online.org asking black woman Biologist Danielle N. Lee "Are you an urban scientist or an urban whore?"
Additionally, Jezebel covered how Emily Grasile, host of a science Youtube show called The Brain Scoop and employee of Chicago's Field Museum, had to deal with commenters making comments more about her gender and looks than the science she discussed.