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Credit Gap

Women are less likely to be given credit for their work than their male colleagues, Science reports.

It adds that a new paper appearing in Nature investigated this by analyzing a set of 9,778 research teams and the 128,859 individuals working on those teams over the course of four years. They matched these teams to the 39,426 journal articles and 7,675 they produced and examined the contribution of and the credit given to each team member.

The researchers found that women made up about a third of authors, even though nearly half the team members were women. Through this, the researchers calculated a 13.24 percent to 58.40 percent gap in the likelihood that women are included on a patent or paper. Additional author surveys and qualitative research further bolster their findings.

"It's almost like this paper managed to probe into the 'dark matter' behind gender inequality," Northwestern Dashun Wang tells Science. "It pinpoints a crucial yet often overlooked factor in driving inequality — attribution."

Study author Britta Glennon from the University of Pennsylvania tells Science that attribution is currently left up to principal investigators and that to have consistency, funding agencies or institutions should set rules guiding authorship.

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