Gender differences in self-citation

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Men cite themselves more than women do. Shown here, the ratio of men’s self-citation per authorship relative to women’s self-citation. For equal rates the ratio would be 1.0. Credit: Molly M. King, Carl T. Bergstrom, Shelley J. Correll, Jennifer Jacquet, and Jevin D. West, authors of the study.

Molly King of Stanford University along with colleagues from NYU and the UW, including Data Science Fellow Jevin West, recently wrote a paper investigating differences in self-citation practices between men and women. Using over 1.5 million papers in the JSTOR database published between 1779-2011, they found that men self-cite 56% more often than women do. This percentage has actually grown (to 70%) in the last twenty years. The authors break down self-citations by discipline as well noting that the gender difference in self-citation is significant across all major academic fields investigated. Such differences can have important consequences for academic career trajectories where citation rates are a common metric used for advancement.

To read the full paper click here.

Click the links below to follow discussions about this paper in various news outlets:

– Nature (July 5)
– The London Times (July 16)
– Vice Media’s Motherboard (July 22)
– The Washington Post (August 1)
– Jezebel (August 1)
– New York Magazine (August 1)
– The Slate (August 2)