• Does female-authored research have more educational impact than male-authored research?

      Thelwall, Mike (Levy Library Press, 2018-10-04)
      Female academics are more likely to be in teaching-related roles in some countries, including the USA. As a side effect of this, female-authored journal articles may tend to be more useful for students. This study assesses this hypothesis by investigating whether female first-authored research has more uptake in education than male first-authored research. Based on an analysis of Mendeley readers of articles from 2014 in five countries and 100 narrow Scopus subject categories, the results show that female-authored articles attract more student readers than male-authored articles in Spain, Turkey, the UK and USA but not India. They also attract fewer professorial readers in Spain, the UK and the USA, but not India and Turkey, and tend to be less popular with senior academics. Because the results are based on analysis of differences within narrow fields they cannot be accounted for by females working in more education-related disciplines. The apparent additional educational impact for female-authored research could be due to selecting more accessible micro-specialisms, however, such as health-related instruments within the instrumentation narrow field. Whatever the cause, the results suggest that citation-based research evaluations may undervalue the wider impact of female researchers.