Gender bias in commenting poses barriers to women scholars: York University sociologist

April 02, 2020

TORONTO, April 2, 2020 - Women academics are less likely than men to comment on published research, limiting scholarly debate, a new study co-authored by York University sociologist Professor Cary Wu, shows. According to the study, women are also relatively less likely to comment on their male counterparts, published research.

"Gendered patterns in academic commenting could impede scholarly exchange between men and women and further marginalize women within the scientific community," cautioned Wu, of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. "And gender inequality is still deeply felt, despite the welcoming atmosphere today for women in academia."

Wu and his co-authors Professors Sylvia Fuller (University of British Columbia); Zhilei Shi (Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in Beijing, China); and Rima Wilkes (University of British Columbia), reviewed comments in two major scientific journals for this study.

They collected and hand coded author information from all comment letters and corresponding science and social science research articles published over the past 16 years in reputable scientific journals - Science and Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS.)

"Though time-consuming, this method allows for more accurate coding of gender information for the authors," said Wu, adding that the team also searched authors' profiles online to obtain images for the gender variable.

Published in PLOS ONE, the study supports the theory that women are disadvantaged across the stages of academic publishing, including collaboration, peer-reviewing, readership, citation and in media coverage.

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world's most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university - our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni.
-end-
York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media Contact: Gloria Suhasini, York University Media Relations, 647-463-4354, suhasini@yorku.ca

York University

Related Education Articles from Brightsurf:

Applying artificial intelligence to science education
A new review published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching highlights the potential of machine learning--a subset of artificial intelligence--in science education.

Dementia education
School-based dementia education could deliver much needed empathy and understanding for older generations as new research from the University of South Australia shows it can significantly improve dementia knowledge and awareness among younger generations.

How can education researchers support education and public health and institutions during COVID-19?
As education researchers' ongoing work is interrupted by school closures, what can they do to support education and public health institutions dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic?

Online education platforms could scale high-quality STEM education for universities
Online and blended (online and in-person) STEM instruction can produce the same learning outcomes for students as traditional, in-person classes at a fraction of the cost, finds research published today in Science Advances.

Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.

The new racial disparity in special education
Racial disparity in special education is growing, and it's more complex than previously thought.

Education may be key to a healthier, wealthier US
A first-of-its-kind study estimate the economic value of education for better health and longevity.

How education may stave off cognitive decline
Prefrontal brain regions linked to higher educational attainment are characterized by increased expression of genes involved in neurotransmission and immunity, finds a study of healthy older adults published in JNeurosci.

Does more education stem political violence?
In a study released online today in Review of Educational Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, three Norwegian researchers attempt to bring clarity to this question by undertaking the first systematic examination of quantitative research on this topic.

Individual education programs not being used as intended in special education
Gone are the days when students with disabilities were placed in a separate classroom, or even in a completely different part of the school.

Read More: Education News and Education Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.