Longitudinal analyses of gender differences in first authorship publications related to COVID-19


Lerchenmüller, Carolin ; Schmallenbach, Leo ; Jena, Anupam B. ; Lerchenmueller, Marc J.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-045176
URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/59105
Additional URL: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/11/4/e045176
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-591050
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2021
The title of a journal, publication series: BMJ open
Volume: 11
Issue number: 4
Page range: e045176
Place of publication: London
Publishing house: BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN: 2044-6055
Related URLs:
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > Technologische Innovation & Management-Wissenschaften (Juniorprofessur) (Lerchenmüller 2019-)
Pre-existing license: Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)
Subject: 330 Economics
650 Management
Abstract: Concerns have been raised that the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted research productivity to the disadvantage of women in academia, particularly in early career stages. In this study, we aimed to assess the pandemic's effect on women's COVID-19-related publishing over the first year of the pandemic. We compared the gender distribution of first authorships for 42 898 publications on COVID-19 from 1 February 2020 to 31 January 2021 to 483 232 publications appearing in the same journals during the same period the year prior. We found that the gender gap-the percentage of articles on which men versus women were first authors-widened by 14 percentage points during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite many pertinent research fields showing near equal proportions of men and women first authors publishing in the same fields before the pandemic. Longitudinal analyses revealed that the significant initial expansions of the gender gap began to trend backwards to expected values over time in many fields. As women may have been differentially affected depending on their geography, we also assessed the gender distribution of first authorships grouped by countries and geographical areas. While we observed a significant reduction of the shares of women first authors in almost all countries, longitudinal analyses confirmed a resolving trend over time. The reduction in women's COVID-19-related research output appears particularly concerning as many disciplines informing the response to the pandemic had near equal gender shares of first authorship in the year prior to the pandemic. The acute productivity drain with the onset of the pandemic magnifies deep-rooted obstacles on the way to gender equity in scientific contribution.
Additional information: Online-Ressource

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