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Articles by women receive fewer citations

Karolina Grabowska / Pexels

Scientific papers published by women in prestigious medical journals tend to receive fewer citations than similar studies authored by men, according to a survey conducted by Paula Chatterjee and Rachel Werner, both physicians at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. They examined 5,554 articles published in high-impact medical journals, including The BMJ, JAMA Internal Medicine, and The New England Journal of Medicine, between 2015 and 2018. They recorded the gender of the lead authors and found that only 36% were female. Papers with women as the lead authors received a third fewer citations than those with male lead authors (JAMA Network, July 2). The findings could have important implications on the career progression of female scientists, since citations are one of the main assessment criteria used by funding agencies and educational and research institutions when making decisions on funding, hiring, and promotions.