Only 20% of researchers lead publications, despite signing 48% of scientific production

The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, published the study The presence of women in Spanish scientific productionin which, for the first time, data are offered that identify the presence of female researchers in the spanish scientific production published between 2014 and 2018 in the main international journals.

The work reveals that in 48% of the Spanish scientific production in science web (WOS), source of this study, there is a female author of the publication, but only 20% of the researchers main publications.

43% of the Spanish research community that publishes on the Web of Science are women

According to the results, 43% of the Spanish research community that publishes on WOS are women. WOS is one of the world’s leading databases of bibliographic references and journal citations. Likewise, the report shows that 12% of Spanish scientific production in which women participate is among the most cited in the world, just a percentage point difference from the Spanish average of 13%.

The average of Spanish scientific production in international collaboration is 53%, a figure that drops to 48% in that production in which women researchers participate. However, this number has been increasing year after year.

In total, 304,165 documents were analyzed in the study, identifying 145,276 researchers from Spanish scientific institutions.

The thematic categories with the highest number of documents in the scientific production in which women participate are environmental sciences, materials sciences, biochemistry and molecular biology, food sciences, physics, chemistry, pharmacology and pharmacy and neurosciences. In the areas of engineering and mathematics there is less presence of women.

Gender equality in science

The promotion of gender equality in the science and innovation system is one of the priorities of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, which launched measures to identify and eliminate inequalities that persist in these areas through studies such as the report Women Scientists in Numbers 2021 or the report of Situation of young researchers in Spain.

To give visibility to work of leading scientiststhe ministry has developed initiatives such as the platform innovative scientists and is currently working on new actions, such as the creation of a seal of gender equality in R&D&I or the design of a mentoring program focused on gender aimed at young researchers.

In addition, the Ministry of Science and Innovation is part of the STEAM Alliance for female talent. Girls Standing for Science, an initiative of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training that aims to promote STEAM vocations (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in connection with the Arts and Humanities) in girls and young people.

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