Gender, seniority, and self-citation practices in political science

Michelle L. Dion, Sara Mc Laughlin Mitchell, Jane L. Sumner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many studies in political science and other disciplines show that published research by women is cited less often than research by male peers in the same discipline. While previous studies have suggested that self-citation practices may explain the gender citation gap in political science, few studies have evaluated whether men and women self-cite at different rates. Our article examines the relationship between author gender, author experience and seniority, and authors’ decisions to include self-citations using a new dataset that includes all articles published in 22 political science journals between 2007 and 2016. Contrary to our expectations, we fail to reject the null hypothesis that men are more likely cite their previous work than women, whether writing alone or co-authoring with others of the same sex. Mixed gender author teams are significantly less likely to self-cite. We also observe lower rates of self-citation in general field journals and Comparative/International Relations subfield journals. The results imply that the relationship between gender and self-citation depends on several factors such as collaboration and the typical seniority and experience of authors on the team.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScientometrics
Volume125
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

Keywords

  • Citations
  • Gender
  • Political science
  • Sociology of science

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