Why don't women publish as much as men?

xxx junekk at bogus.com
Sat Sep 12 00:20:21 EST 1998


Just thought I would let people know about an interesting colloquy
sponsored by the Chronicle of Higher Education- for those of you who
subscribe.  The question is this:

A number of studies have found that men are much more prolific than
women in publishing journal articles, but professors are divided on why
that is so. Some see bias -- explicit and subtle -- against women in the
academy. These people complain that women are saddled with more
administrative duties and receive less support than men, depriving women
of the time to write. Others say that those are just excuses and that
women should not blame others for their failure to write more. Still
others say that women should not try to be as prolific as men and that
some of the most prolific authors place quantity over quality in their
work. Why are men more prolific journal authors than women? Do these
statistics say more about men, women, or the academy? Should colleges
change policies to support women who wish to publish more?  

For a fresh look in a different academic science forum, you might check
this out (and if appropriate, contribute!) at this site:
http://chronicle.com/colloquy/98/publish/publish.htm

On a slightly different note, the Chronicle also provides a couple of
depressing stats in it's recent articles. The first, from 9/10/98,
writes that in the life sciences, the number of Ph.D.'s outnumber jobs
(big surprise!) such that from the mid-1980s to 1996,the number of life
science Ph.D.s awarded each year rose from about 5k to 7600.  But the
number of life faculty appts have increased only 2.5% a year since
1973.  The result:  in 1995, 5-6 years after receiving their doctorates,
38% of the life-science Ph.D.s still held postdoctoral positions or
other non-faculty posts, were employed part time worked outside the
sciences, or were unemployed.  In 1973, the comparable figure was only
11%.  

The second article, also from the Chronicles, points to a somewhat
related figure such that 92% of all the scientists in physiology (for
example)were postdocs of some kind, and the median average for this
position was $24,000.

With all of these constraints in the biomedical job market, isn't it
time to figure out a more comprehensive way to put our collective
intelligence and maturity to use?  Does anyone have any comments on the
ways we can practically strengthen our chances to find a job with some
greater stability, funding, etc, or is this just a pipe dream for
scientists nowadays?!!!  True, I know some people who seem to make the
transition, but many who are not very successful at obtaining the
tangibles (I don't mean doing great research either, for many are quite
brilliant in my opinion!).

P.S. Hope you have all had a great summer!!

June




More information about the Womenbio mailing list