.Despite the percentage of female authors is still less than women’s overall representation within the full-time faculty ranks. Researchers on gender analysis at the University of Washington’s Eigenfactor Project, found that this proportion has increased in recent years.
A large study, led by Jevin West and Jennifer Jacquet, Woman as Academic Author 1665-2010, analyzed over two million scientific papers from 1665 and 2010 (including articles in hard sciences, social sciences, law, history, philosophy and education), and they realised that 22% of all authors were female and they were slightly less likely than that to be first author: about 19%. Women were more likely to appear as third, fourth, or fifth authors.
But in recent period, the proportion of female authors is rising. “From 1990 to 2010, the percentage went up to 27%. In 2010 alone, the last year for which full figures are available, the proportion had inched up to 30%”, wrote the journalist Robin Wilson in his article Scholarly Publishing’s Gender Gap published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
“The results show us what a lot of people have been saying and many of my female colleagues have been feeling: things are getting better for women in academia”, said Jennifer Jacquet, the only female in the investigation.