Gender and the Media

Gender Difference in Scientific Productivity:An Explanation from the Perspective of Social Network Analysis

Zhu Yina
Department of Sociology,Communication University of China
Chinese Journal of Sociology 2016-4

Abstract:The issue of gender difference in scientific productivity has long been an important topic in the sociology of science as it reflects the gender inequality in science job market as well as status and income stratification between male and female scientists. The data in this study is drawn from the General Survey of Science Researchers and Technicians in Beijing in 2013 as well as a sample survey of university researchers. The paper explores how social networks among scientists act as an important structural factor contributing to the gender inequality in scientific productivity. Scientific productivity in this study is measured by the number of publications in SCI/EI.Our finding first supports the general observation by other scholars that female scientists’ networks tend to be smaller, members less prestigious and have fewer connection with industries, governments and domestic or foreign research institutes,than their male counterpart. Second, the primary network contributor to the gender differences in research productivity seems to be the lack of connection with domestic R &D institutes, foreign researchers and industries, not the size of the networks or connection with the government.This weakness affects female scientists' opportunity to obtain valuable information and funding.Third,the overall social network return on productivity is lower for female scientists than for male scientists, nevertheless, this gender difference seems to be less significant than what is observed in the broad labor market. Among the variables examined, the connection to industries and businesses shows the most noticeable gender difference for its impact on research productivity.
Keywords:social network, academic collaboration, gender differences, scholarly productivity, university researchers

Paper type:Published