MEN call their own research ''excellent''. WOMEN are underreprpresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at the highest levels.

Only one out of four full professors at American research institutions is a woman, despite the fact that equal number of men and women earn doctoral degrees in science each year.

In the life sciences, women are less likely either to receive major grant funding or to be promoted to full professor - and they are paid less even when they produce the same amount of scholarly output as men.

We've identified another, much less discussed component of gender disparity in science : Men are much more likely than women to heap praise on their own research and emphasize its importance.

In a study published in The British Medical Journal, we analyzed the  titles and abstracts of more than than six million life science articles.

We suspected that scientific teams led by men might frame their research findings in more flattering light, by using terms like ''novel,'' ''excellent'' and ''unique'' to describe their results.

Indeed, they do. In the most highly cited scientific journals, male-led scientific teams were up to 21 percent more likely than women-led teams publishing comparable studies to use positive adjectives to frame their research findings.

That matters. Scientists use titles and abstracts to screen articles., to decide what to read. Positive presentation of research findings by male scientists may then draw more attention from others in the scientific community.

Sure enough, we found that the greater use of positive spin by Male-led teams was linked to more citations.

Since citations to scientific research often serve as a key metric in hiring, promotion, pay and funding decisions, these differences in self-promotion may also translate into gender disparities on many levels.

Our analysis accounted for several factors that might reasonably justify the positive framing of research findings by male scientists.

For example, if male scientists  disproportionately  did research in newer scientific areas, the greater use of positive terms to describe their research might make sense.

The honor of serving of the latest global operational research on sciences and gender disparity, continues. The World Students Society thanks authors : Anupam B. Jena, Marc Lerchenmueller and Olav Sorenson.


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