Skip to main content

Negating the Gender Citation Advantage in Political Science

  • Amy L. Atchison (a1)

Open-access (OA) advocates have long promoted OA as an egalitarian alternative to traditional subscription-based academic publishing. The argument is simple: OA gives everyone access to high-quality research at no cost. In turn, this should benefit individual researchers by increasing the number of people reading and citing academic articles. As the OA movement gains traction in the academy, scholars are investing considerable research energy to determine whether there is an OA citation advantage—that is, does OA increase an article’s citation counts? Research indicates that it does. Scholars also explored patterns of gender bias in academic publishing and found that women are cited at lower rates in many disciplines. Indeed, in many disciplines, men enjoy a significant and positive gender citation effect (GCE) compared to their female colleagues. This article combines these research areas to determine whether the OA citation advantage varies by gender. Using Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney (WMW) tests, the nonparametric analog to the independent samples T-test, I conclude that OA benefits male and female political scientists at similar rates. Thus, OA negates the gender citation advantage that typically accrues to male political scientists.

Hide All
Aksnes Dag W., Rorstad Kristoffer, Piro Fredrik, and Sivertsen Gunnar. 2011. “Are Female Researchers Less Cited? A Large-Scale Study of Norwegian Scientists.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 62 (4): 628–36.
Alexander-Floyd Nikol G. 2015. “Women of Color, Space Invaders, and Political Science: Practical Strategies for Transforming Institutional Practices.” PS: Political Science & Politics 48 (03): 464–8.
American Political Science Association. 2011. “Task Force on Political Science in the 21st Century.” In Report of the APSA Task Force on Political Science in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: American Political Science Association.
Antelman Kristin. 2004. “Do Open-Access Articles Have a Greater Research Impact?” College & Research Libraries 65 (5): 372–82.
Arunachalam Subbiah. 2008. “Open Access to Scientific Knowledge.” Defence Scientific Information & Documentation Centre Journal of Library & Information Technology 28 (1): 714.
Atchison Amy and Bull Jonathan. 2015. “Will Open Access Get Me Cited? An Analysis of the Efficacy of Open Access Publishing in Political Science.” PS: Political Science & Politics 48 (1): 129–37.
Baldi Stephane. 1998. “Normative versus Social Constructivist Processes in the Allocation of Citations: A Network-Analytic Model.” American Sociological Review 63 (6): 829–46.
Bordons María, Morillo Fernanda, Teresa Fernández M., and Gómez Isabel. 2003. “One Step Further in the Production of Bibliometric Indicators at the Micro Level: Differences by Gender and Professional Category of Scientists.” Scientometrics 57 (2): 159–73.
Carling Jørgen. 2012. “Use Your Author’s Rights to Make Articles Freely Available.” In The Impact Blog. Managing Editor, Booluck Kieran. London: The London School of Economics and Political Science.
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 2011. “The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, 2010 Edition.” Menlo Park, CA.
Copenheaver Carolyn A., Goldbeck Kyrille, and Cherubini Paolo. 2010. “Lack of Gender Bias in Citation Rates of Publications by Dendrochronologists: What Is Unique about This Discipline?” Tree-Ring Research 66 (2): 127–33.
Craig Iain D., Plume Andrew M., McVeigh Marie E., Pringle James, and Amin Mayur. 2007. “Do Open Access Articles Have Greater Citation Impact?: A Critical Review of the Literature.” Journal of Informetrics 1 (3): 239–48.
Crawford Walt. 2011. Open Access: What You Need to Know Now. Chicago: American Library Association.
Davenport Elisabeth and Snyder Herbert. 1995. “Who Cites Women? Whom Do Women Cite?: An Exploration of Gender and Scholarly Citation in Sociology.” Journal of Documentation 51 (4): 404–10.
Doty R. Christopher. 2013. “Tenure-Track Science Faculty and the ‘Open Access Citation Effect.’” Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 1 (3): 6.
Dubinsky Ellen. 2014. “A Current Snapshot of Institutional Repositories: Growth Rate, Disciplinary Content and Faculty Contributions.” Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 2 (3): 3.
Ferber Marianne A. 1988. “Citations and Networking.” Gender and Society 2 (1): 82–9.
Gonzalez-Brambila Claudia and Veloso Francisco M.. 2007. “The Determinants of Research Output and Impact: A Study of Mexican Researchers.” Research Policy 36 (7): 1035–51.
Greco Albert N. 2015. “Academic Libraries and the Economics of Scholarly Publishing in the Twenty-First Century: Portfolio Theory, Product Differentiation, Economic Rent, Perfect Price Discrimination, and the Cost of Prestige.” Journal of Scholarly Publishing 47 (1): 143.
Greco Albert N., Jones Robert F., Wharton Robert M., and Estelami Hooman. 2007. “The Changing College and University Library Market for University Press Books and Journals: 1997–2004.” Journal of Scholarly Publishing 39 (1): 132.
Guédon Jean-Claude. 2008. “Mixing and Matching the Green and Gold Roads to Open Access—Take 2.” Serials Review 34 (1): 4151.
Hajjem Chawki, Harnad Stevan, and Gingras Yves. 2005. “Ten-Year Cross-Disciplinary Comparison of the Growth of Open Access and How It Increases Research Citation Impact.” Bulletin of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Data Engineering.
Harnad Stevan. 2010. “No-Fault Peer Review Charges: The Price of Selectivity Need Not Be Access Denied or Delayed.” D-Lib Magazine 16 (7/8).
Johnson Richard K. 2002. “Partnering with Faculty to Enhance Scholarly Communication.” D-Lib Magazine 8 (11).
King Molly M., Correll Shelley J., Jacquet Jennifer, Bergstrom Carl T., and West Jevin D.. ND. “Men Set Their Own Cites High: Gender and Self-Citation Across Fields and Over Time.” Women 2: 1.
Lawrence Steve. 2001. “Free Online Availability Substantially Increases a Paper’s Impact.” Nature 411 (6837): 521.
Lewison Grant. 2001. “The Quantity and Quality of Female Researchers: A Bibliometric Study of Iceland.” Scientometrics 52 (1): 2943.
Long J. Scott. 1992. “Measures of Sex Differences in Scientific Productivity.” Social Forces 71 (1): 159–78.
Maliniak Daniel, Powers Ryan, and Walter Barbara F.. 2013. “The Gender Citation Gap in International Relations.” International Organization 67 (04): 889922.
Masuoka Natalie, Grofman Bernard, and Feld Scott L.. 2007. “The Political Science 400: A 20-Year Update.” PS: Political Science and Politics 40 (1): 133–45.
McCabe Mark and Snyder Christopher M.. 2014. “Identifying the Effect of Open Access on Citations Using a Panel of Science Journals.” Economic Inquiry 52 (4): 12841300.
McElhinny Bonnie, Hols Marijke, Holtzkener Jeff, Unger Susanne, and Hicks Claire. 2003. “Gender, Publication and Citation in Sociolinguistics and Linguistic Anthropology: The Construction of a Scholarly Canon.” Language in Society 32 (3): 299328.
McIlwee Judith S. and Robinson J. Gregg. 1992. Women in Engineering: Gender, Power, and Workplace Culture: New York: State University of New York Press.
Mershon Carol and Walsh Denise. 2015. “How Political Science Can Be More Diverse.” PS: Political Science & Politics 48 (3): 441–4.
Monroe Kristen Renwick and Chiu William F.. 2010. “Gender Equality in the Academy: The Pipeline Problem.” PS: Political Science & Politics 43 (2): 303–8.
Monroe Kristen Renwick, Choi Jenny, Howell Emily, Lampros-Monroe Chloe, Trejo Crystal, and Perez Valentina. 2014. “Gender Equality in the Ivory Tower, and How Best to Achieve It.” PS: Political Science & Politics 47 (2): 418–26.
Norris Michael, Oppenheim Charles, and Rowland Fytton. 2008. “The Citation Advantage of Open-Access Articles.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 59 (12): 1963–72.
Østby Gudrun, Strand Håvard, Nordås Ragnhild, and Gleditsch Nils Petter. 2013. “Gender Gap or Gender Bias in Peace Research? Publication Patterns and Citation Rates for Journal of Peace Research, 1983–2008.” International Studies Perspectives 14 (4): 493506.
Sinclair-Chapman Valeria. 2015. “Leveraging Diversity in Political Science for Institutional and Disciplinary Change.” PS: Political Science & Politics 48 (3): 454–8.
Sonnert Gerhard and Holton Gerald James. 1995. Who Succeeds in Science?: The Gender Dimension. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Suber Peter. 2013. Open Access Overview. Available at
US Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics. 2015. “Digest of Education Statistics, 2013; Chapter 2.” Washington, DC: US Department of Education.
Wilson Robin. 2014. “New Gender Gap in Scholarship.” In The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle, March 17.
Winkler Julie A. 2000. “Focus Section: Women in Geography in the 21st Century: Faculty Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion: Barriers for Women.” The Professional Geographer 52 (4): 737–50.
Xia Jingfeng. 2010. “A Longitudinal Study of Scholars’ Attitudes and Behaviors Toward Open-Access Journal Publishing.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology 61 (3): 615–24.
Xia Jingfeng and Nakanishi Katie. 2012. “Self-Selection and the Citation Advantage of Open Access Articles.” Online Information Review 36 (1): 4051.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 18
Total number of PDF views: 162 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 598 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 31st March 2017 - 19th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.