The achievements of women in science do not match the contribution

James Watson and Francis Crick (not Rosalind Franklin) may be the most famous examples of how women’s contributions to science are ignored, gaining all the initial glory for unlocking the structure of DNA. This is certainly not the only example, though: many women scientists report their work as unexpected or unexpected, and some say they have abandoned science altogether.

Although these anecdotes are powerful in their own right, a new research pushes the conversation out of a separate account: published in paper NatureShows that women are significantly এবং and systematically-less likely to be recognized than their male counterparts.

Input vs. output

In one study, women were 13 percent less likely to be named in an article and 58 percent less likely to be named on a patent than their male counterparts, which controls for factors outside of gender, such as job titles.

This effect is most pronounced for highly cited papers, the authors found: when controlling the field, career position, and team size, there was no significant difference in the likelihood of a woman being named in an article with zero citations. Yet in a paper with 25 quotes, women are 20 percent less likely to express their names than men in Baseline.

Another discovery: When scientific credit is defined as just naming a writer, women are responsible for only 35 percent of the writers in a group, even though they have studied 48 percent of scientists.

According to a report by the Institute for Research on Innovation and Science at the University of Michigan, the new paper is based primarily on data from about 9,700 research teams. This data set includes payroll and job title information for everyone working on a paid grant, which allows the authors of this study to compare who is doing what. (Outputs were linked to a science group if an article or patent acknowledges one of the group’s grants, or if one member of the group is listed as the author of that article or patent.)

Co-author Britta Glennon, an assistant professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, says that much of the existing literature on women’s under-representation in science begins with “patent and publication calculation perspectives” and tries to understand that. All you have to do is look under the hood and see for yourself how science is being created. “

Glennon added, “If you only look at the output, you miss a lot of people, don’t you? This is the first time we’ve been able to see who’s not actually visible. And so it’s a different kind of explanation for this gender gap.”

To better understand the mechanisms by which women are denied credit, Glennon and her co-authors analyzed quantitative data from a survey of 2,446 scientists on scientific credit. Apparently confirming input-versus-output results, survey responses vary by gender: reporting experience with exclusion from authorship is common, but more common for women than men, 43 percent vs. 38 percent. Significantly more women (49 percent) than men (39 percent) also reported that others underestimated their contribution to science.

In open statements from survey respondents and in additional personal interviews, the scientists said the rules for allocating credit were often vague and left up to senior investigators.

One woman said, for example, “I didn’t push to be listed as a writer.” Another female respondent stated that “being a woman [means] While you often contribute to science in one way or another, our contributions are often underestimated if you do not shout or make strong points. “Yet another respondent said: Trying not to be a female-dormat stereotype when I tried is a lot of backfire …). “

An exaggerated theme here, the paper says, “rules governing scientific contributions were often not coded, not understood by all members of the research team, or simply ignored.”

Fighting the underlying prejudice

Co-author Matthew Ross, an associate professor of economics and public policy and urban affairs at Northeastern University, whose work focuses on inequality, said the survey revealed that in some cases women left their jobs for various reasons and saw a similar decline. Credit But studies have shown that “there were a lot of big reasons” for women to get less scientific credit, “basically their contribution was underestimated,” she said.

Causes of Gender Credit ProblemsWhere “there is prudence in decision-making and not a clear, codified set of rules,” Ross continued, “that’s where things like underlying bias happen.”

While presenting such results, the paper also pushes conversations about how credit is determined for the solution. A number of possibilities emerge from the paper or conversations with the authors, including: the need for formal training of chief investigators on how to conduct group science and properly identify contributors, and to encourage funding agencies to emphasize transparency in what they do. Payment.

Ross Credit NatureFor example, the role of each author specifies that the article requires a statement of the author’s contribution, and he suggests that this practice be adopted by donors, not just journals.

Glennon says credit-like initiatives, a contributing role classification, are helping scientists navigate to determine credit. But overall the credit-assigning system remains “broken.”

Other Ideas: The Academy’s push for a culture of disclosure or authorship that encourages it, and acknowledges the power structures that exist in any laboratory so that all scientists can speak freely. (Indeed, while gender is at the center of this new paper, academic science is full of stories of abuse of power across different social lines, not always involving author controversy.)

Julia Lane, an economist and professor co-author of the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, says such changes are relatively long-term.

“There’s a crazy focus on revealing the matrix, which has been quite damaging,” Lane said. “It’s important to try to think through the processes and motivations that science creates – not the focus on the output, which I think distorts the processes.”

From the persecution of a PI, in particular, he continued, “We all think of ourselves as flat institutions, but in reality there is a dynamic force that you are not aware of. And we need to be aware of the dynamics of that career and make sure that juniors feel empowered to speak up. “

Marcia McNaught, president of the National Academy of Sciences, co-wrote a 2018 article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Arguments for journals to adopt greater transparency requirements around the author, including the credit system. Asked about the new research paper, McNaught said Wednesday that “the over-representation of men is consistent with the often observed phenomenon that men overestimate their contribution to an endeavor and that women underestimate the value of their contribution.”

Furthermore, she said, “Continued failure in attribution can lead to long-term decline in contributions. So there are two explanations for why women’s contributions to science are not adequately recognized.”

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