Differences in Collaboration Patterns across Discipline, Career Stage, and Gender

Xiao Han T. Zeng, Jordi Duch, Marta Sales-Pardo, João A.G. Moreira, Filippo Radicchi, Haroldo V. Ribeiro, Teresa K. Woodruff, Luís A.Nunes Amaral*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Collaboration plays an increasingly important role in promoting research productivity and impact. What remains unclear is whether female and male researchers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) disciplines differ in their collaboration propensity. Here, we report on an empirical analysis of the complete publication records of 3,980 faculty members in six STEM disciplines at select U.S. research universities. We find that female faculty have significantly fewer distinct co-authors over their careers than males, but that this difference can be fully accounted for by females’ lower publication rate and shorter career lengths. Next, we find that female scientists have a lower probability of repeating previous co-authors than males, an intriguing result because prior research shows that teams involving new collaborations produce work with higher impact. Finally, we find evidence for gender segregation in some sub-disciplines in molecular biology, in particular in genomics where we find female faculty to be clearly under-represented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1002573
JournalPLoS biology
Volume14
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 4 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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