Samuel Martin-Gutierrez: “First-mover advantage explains gender disparities in physics citations”

Jul 20, 2022 | 21:3023:00

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CSH scientist Samuel Martin-Gutierrez gives this talk at the 8th International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2) which takes place from July 19–22, 2022 in Chicago.


Time: 2:30–4 pm Central Standard Time




Mounting evidence suggests that publications and citations of scholars in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) suffer from gender biases. In this paper, we study the physics community, a core STEM field in which women are still largely under-represented and where these gender disparities persist.


To reveal such inequalities, we compare the citations received by papers led by men and women that cover the same topics in a comparable way. To do that, we devise a robust statistical measure of similarity between publications that enables us to detect pairs of similar papers.


Our analyses indicate that papers written by women tend to have lower visibility in the citation network, a phenomenon that is significantly influenced by the temporal aspects of scientific production. From an individual perspective, within similar pairs of papers, the author that publishes first tends to obtain more citations. When we control for date of publication, the gender disparity decreases ostensibly.


From the group perspective, men have cumulative historical advantages due to women joining the field considerably later and with slower rate. Therefore, the first-mover advantage plays a crucial role in the emergence of gender disparities in the physics community.



Jul 20, 2022