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Academia’s gender gap persists

`I don’t think most of us need any more generalizations or anecdotal evidence about the gender gap in our culture, since we know it’s there, and most of the time we’re trying to find concrete ways to surmount it. Facts, on the other hand, are always welcome as a way to examine and clarify the problem for skeptics and leaders. That’s why gender browser, which provides a “multiscale view of gender representation across multiple domains of scholarly publishing,” is a fascinating tool.

The browser is part of a larger study whose findings are to be published in a paper titled “The Role of Gender in Scholarly Authorship” by Jevin D. West, Carl T. Bergstrom, Jennifer Jacquet, Michael Brooks, and Cecilia Aragon. Their research suggests that the gender gap in academic publishing, though historically significant, is very slowly shrinking. And the gender browser, developed under the Eigenfactor Project at the University of Washington in collaboration with JSTOR, provides a visualized snapshot of this bleak data landscape. In analyzing the data at JSTOR — a digital repository containing more than 1,900 academic journal titles in more than 50 disciplines — the authors were able to deduce that some progress has been made, but not as much as you might think.

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