Gender and Citation in International Relations

by Henry Farrell on April 5, 2013 · 6 comments

in Academia,International Relations

Via Political Violence at a Glance, Dan Maliniak, Ryan Powers and Barbara Walter have a forthcoming article in International Organization, which finds that articles written by women for the top journals in international relations are systematically undercited.

There are a number of possible explanations for why this gap may exist. First, men and
women tend to work at different institutions … women may publish less in the early years of their careers as a result of their need to take parental leave …fewer publications early in one’s career could translate into fewer citations over time. … men and women tend to study different substantive issues. … men are more likely to write articles on security, U.S. foreign policy, and methods. Women are more likely to write articles on human rights, comparative foreign policy, health, international law, and the environment. … women reported that they are more likely to employ constructivism and feminism than their male counterparts … [controlling for various factors listed above] [o]ur all-male model predicts articles authored by only women should have 4.7 more citations than they actually received
… [employing] the widely used HITS algorithm developed by Kleinberg … [a]rticles written by female authors are not only being cited less, but authors of the most influential articles are citing them less often … women in IR … cite their [own] work at significantly lower rates than men … [but] the gender gap in citations continues even when we remove self-citations … The second possible explanation has to do with informal agreements made amongst a group of scholars to cite each other … If men were more apt to form such alliances than women, or had more opportunity to do so given their larger numbers or more extensive social networks, then this informal collaboration could account for the higher rate of citations for men … We have no definitive evidence that such informal arrangements exist or that they are more prevalent among men than women … The evidence we do have, however, reveals that citations appear to split along gender lines. Men tend to cite maleauthored articles more than female-authored articles and women tend to cite female-authored articles more than male-authored articles. This difference alone could account for the gender gap in citations since the number of men in IR is significantly higher than women.

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