Studies from Germany and the US state that male researchers appear to view their findings more positively than their female counterparts.
Inspired by the under-representation of women in STEM, the researchers chose to investigate the use of terms that provide positive twists, such as “novel,” unique or “unprecedented” in the titles and abstracts of more than 100,000 clinical research articles and more than six million life science reports.
The Researchers found that, for articles with women as the first and last author, there was a 12.3 per cent lower probability that these types of terms would be used to characterize their findings compared to articles with men on the first and last author.
While this form of analysis can not prove cause and effect, the editorial does indicates that the structures that perpetuate gender inequalities need to be corrected.
Women continue to be underrepresented in academia, life science and medicine, and they receive lower wages, less research grants and less citations than their male peers.
Differences in the degree to which females promote their scientific accomplishments relative to men are one variable that could lead to such gender gaps.
On average, positive presentations are correlated with 9.4 per cent higher follow-up citations and 13 per cent higher citations in high-impact journal articles, based on their impact factor (recognised indicator of significance or journal rank).
Evidence suggests that women are subject to higher academic standards in peer review, which may help explain these results, say the researchers.