HighlyCited is a web site listing researchers who earned the distinction by writing the greatest numbers of reports officially designated by Thomson Reuters’ Essential Science Indicators as Highly Cited Papers — ranking among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication. The ratio of women in HighlyCited is a matter of initial demographics (ratio of women studying in a given discipline, evolution over time) and recognition of talent by the scientific community. But as in many professions, other social factors may play a part: attrition rate among women pursuing a scientific career, unconscious gender biases in the way scientists themselves accept a paper for publication or make citations, differences in career paths or grants allocations…
Our Findings – Highlights:
Those are some of our main findings. Starting from a theoretical ratio of 50% female and 50% male world inhabitants, we estimate that:
- Among one million scientists in ORCID.org, 33% are women.
- In 2001 women scientists were 7% of all researchers mentioned in HighlyCited; the number grew to 13% in 2014.
- The gender gap in HighlyCited researchers is narrower for social sciences (31% women in 2014) compared to computer science (9% women in 2014).
- In some fields the gender gap is closing fast: HighlyCited women engineers were 11% in 2014, up from 1% in 2001; same for mathematics 11% in 2014, up from 4% in 2001.
- In other fields the gender gap is not closing (example: HighlyCited female researchers in Physics were 4% in 2014, compared to 5% in 2001).