1 ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (GERMANY)
2 Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (GERMANY)
3 Max Planck Institute for Human Development (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 999-1008
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.0358
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
The presented study examines differences in data sharing and scientific working behavior between male and female researchers. To understand the context of our study, it has to be said that articles and data – as the raw material for non-theoretical publications – are crucial for an individual researcher’s career development. Examining the data sharing behavior is therefore a good proxy to examine differences in male and female working behavior in a competitive environment. Against this background we investigate gender differences in the working behavior of female and male researchers when it comes to publishing articles and sharing data.

Within this paper we focus especially on the influence of different working environments in relation to the gender distribution (female domains versus male domains). For male domains, we additionally differentiate between male domains with a highly visible gender gap (i.e., strong overbalance of males) versus male domains in which the gender gap was rather low. Besides the gender distribution, we also consider to the relevance of research data within the domain, i.e., if scientific work and career is strongly connected with research data (data-driven domains like Psychology, Physics, Computer Science).

Our study is based on a survey among 1321 (mainly German) researchers. The survey included questions on socio demographics, the individual working context, publication preferences and data handling practices. Our results across academic domains show that female researchers reported about less data sharing and use of secondary data than male researchers. Furthermore, female researchers are more cautious in relation to the conditions of data sharing and secondary data use.

However, the specific results on female and male domains show that the working behavior must be seen in the light of the prevalent working conditions. In dependency of the gender-distribution and the relevance of research data for the researchers’ career within the domain, we found very different patterns of data sharing behavior and secondary data use. In female data-driven domains, females share less often and are less willing to share unconditionally. Similar, in male data-driven domains with a low visibility of the gender gap, females are less willing to share unconditionally but more on demand. However, the pattern of results is completely different for the female domains with a low relevance of data and male domains with a highly visible gender gap: For these domains there were no gender-related differences in data sharing.

Overall our results suggests that the working conditions in the form of gender distribution and relevance of research data in different scientific fields are better predictors for sharing behavior than the gender of the individual researcher. Furthermore, the overall pattern of results indicates that also implicit gender stereotypes and social desirability might have some influence. The reported findings provide first insights in the complex underlying factors of gender equality in science that should be addressed by future research.
Gender, collaboration, data sharing, implicit stereotypes, scientific domains.