This report from Elsevier looks at differences in the publishing characteristics of men and women in scientific research across the world.

In the UK, the under-representation of women in scientific research is a significant, and recognised problem. This report examines global trends over 20 years in 12 comparator countries and regions, and 27 subject areas. Looking at different measures of research output, impact, collaboration and mobility, it highlights that although women tend to produce fewer papers and collaborate less, this has little effect on their research impact. 


  • The representation of women amongst researchers has increased globally, with nine of twelve countries/regions studied now having over 40% women compared to only Portugal in 1996-2000.
  • The gender difference in scholarly output is growing across the world. In the UK, the average number of papers published by women decreased from 2.2 in 1996-2000 to 1.9 in 2011-2015, but staying static at 2.4 for men.
  • Against a background of dramatically increasing international collaboration, gender differences across the world have remained. In the UK research output resulting from international collaboration is at 43% for women and 49% for men.
  • Mobility is associated with higher citation impact but women are generally less internationally mobile than men. In the UK in the period 1996 –2015 women made up 37% of those who exhibit no international mobility compared to 29% of those exhibiting transitory mobility.
  • Gender research has grown faster than the rate of growth of scholarly literature as a whole, particularly in the EU, who’s global share has grown from 21% to 34%.

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