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Invisible authors

Invisible authors

Last week, news appeared in several national newspapers about a study published in Search policy An analysis of more than two million articles in the biological sciences showed a strong gender bias in citations: Articles with male lead authors receive fewer citations than those led by male authors. This pattern is true in many subfields of the biological sciences, including those with relatively equal gender representation.

The study's authors say this imbalance is partly due to… To sexual specialization In specific research areas. But there is another factor at play: the researcher's mentors, co-authors, and conference partners are likely to Share their sexual identity. After taking into account a wide range of factors, the researchers found that some direct quotes appear to be motivated HomosexualityThat is, it refers to the phenomenon in which Individuals who have similar or shared characteristics tend to interact and associate with each other frequently Of those who have different characteristics. This concept is applied in different contexts, such as social networks, communities, organizations, etc., in which case the tendency of scientists' professional relationships is biased towards their gender. Fortunately, this is not as common among younger generations, which may be a sign of change. However, this persistent pattern puts women at a severe disadvantage in the fields in which they are present UnderrepresentedWhich creates a huge gap in appointments. In comparison, in more gender-balanced fields, the gap narrows.

According to Anil Oza in an article published in the magazine nature: “Since homosexuality in citations impedes the flow of knowledge in most fields, its negative impact on science likely includes not only slowing women's careers but also creating less efficient diffusion.” To know. Efforts to increase gender equality in science have generally focused on increasing the number of women in science and hiring female scientist mentors. But analysis suggests the latter practice creates gender silos in the fields. “We need to move toward integrating these two networks,” says Zhai, one of the authors of the article published in the journal Research Policy.

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An effective strategy for achieving this integration is to create more cohesive communities and use existing spaces. A concrete example is Promoting conferences and conferences Which Encouraging the merger of joint committeesOr in which at least one researcher participates, especially in fields where female participation is less. This practice not only ensures fair representation, allowing the public to benefit from a diversity of viewpoints, but also facilitates dialogue between researchers. By promoting these meetings, we contribute significantly to the integration of networks and the promotion of cooperation in the scientific field.

It is necessary for both men and women to realize Appreciate the contributions of their colleagues. This mutual recognition not only improves knowledge dissemination and creation, but also becomes a collective commitment to reducing the scientific gap. In this way, fertile ground is created for a scientific community in which all members are committed to equality and work together to overcome barriers and promote a more diverse and equitable environment.

  • The content expressed in this opinion column is the exclusive responsibility of its author and does not necessarily reflect the editorial line or position of the author the counter.