Elsevier reports women gaining ground in research

Worldwide, women in research continue to trail far behind men. But the gap is narrowing, science publisher Elsevier reports ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March.

The percentage of women in research is growing in all 43 countries surveyed by Elsevier. Nonetheless, gender parity is still a long way off. Argentina is the sole exception, where 51 percent of researchers are women. Women in Japan have the hardest time breaking through, remaining stuck at 15 percent.

In the Netherlands women are gradually catching up, as reported previously. Whereas two decades ago just under 20 percent of Dutch researchers were women, notes Elsevier, ‘that proportion has increased to 33 percent in recent years’. This is slightly under the European average of 36 percent.

Driving this increase is of course the new generation. Among Dutch researchers who published for the first time between 2014 and 2018, more than half were women. These women are also publishing more than their predecessors.

For its report, Elsevier looked at publications in the whole spectrum of academic journals, not just its own. Data came from, among others, Elsevier’s Scopus database, which collects impact and citation data on some 35 thousand journals, as well as from patent agencies and research funding organisations.

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