The Matilda Effect in Communication Research
Across liberal democracies, optimalizing gender balance in communication research production and impact is a growing aspiration of scientific leaders and research-intensive universities alike. Despite eloquent motivations, the gender proportions of the most prolific scholars remain undetermined, along with the role gender plays in explaining research usage (i.e., views) and impact (i.e., citations) across countries. Drawing upon performance data of 5,500 communication scholars from 11 countries, this study found that amongst the most prolific communication authors, female scholars are still significantly underrepresented in all the analyzed regions. Furthermore, when examining views and citation scores, findings illustrate that female scholars’ papers are systematically more viewed, yet significantly less cited than male scholarship. All things considered, we provide insightful empirical evidence that point to a twofold Matilda effect playing at both the production and performance levels in communication studies, arguing that gender inequalities are still rampant in the field.