Female Academics: Quit Cheating Me

citation needed

Citation needed, women of the world! (Photo credit: Dan4th)

Citations and bibliographies are, by far, my least favorite writing to copyedit.  They’re boring and rote and fiddly, and when they’re not boring and rote, they’re confusing and fiddly.  Still, at times I’m grateful to see them coming—they add up to some serious billable hours, and clients are often intensely grateful to be saved the formatting work.

But here’s a surprising bit of news from the international relations journal International Organization: my female clients may be holding out on me!  According to Daniel Maliniak, Ryan Powers, and Barbara F. Walter, women academics cite themselves less than men do (“The Gender Citation Gap in International Relations,” published online, August 28, 2013).  This is more than just a funny little “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” quirk; in many fields, the number of citations a scholar’s article receives affects his or her tenure bid.  And, of course, the tenure pipeline affects who obtains full professorship, which in turns affects the top echelons of administrators.

So ladies, cite your own work!  My career, your career, and academic women’s careers in general will benefit if you do.

Note: The original article is behind a pay wall, so see a summary in The Economist here.


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