NY Times column: Men Call Their Own Research ‘Excellent’

This NY Times column 12/18/2019 summarizes a British Medical Journal article about bias in medical abstracts, but the same could be done for economics journals, I am sure. Worth the five minutes to read. Bottom line: Women should brag more, and editors and reviewers should get men to tone it down.

Men Call Their Own Research ‘Excellent’

Women do so much less often. And it’s not because their work isn’t as good.

by anupam b. jena, marc lerchenmueller and olav sorenson

Below is a key figure from the BMC article showing how much more likely men are to use 25 positive words.

Gender differences in how scientists present the importance of their research: observational study

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l6573 (Published 16 December 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6573

Gender differences in positive presentation

Figure 2 ranks individual positive words in descending order in terms of prevalence and compares the proportion of articles using each word in which the first and last author were both women with the proportion of articles in which the first and/or last author was a man. The most commonly used positive word was “novel” (used in 44.8% of positively framed articles). Articles with a male first and/or last author used the word 59.2% (95% confidence interval 48.8% to 69.6%) more often than articles with female first and last authors.

Gender differences in positive presentation of clinical research articles according to specific positive words, based on 101 720 articles during 2002-17.

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