, Volume 87, Issue 3, pp 483–498 | Cite as

Sex differences in research funding, productivity and impact: an analysis of Québec university professors

  • Vincent LarivièreEmail author
  • Etienne Vignola-Gagné
  • Christian Villeneuve
  • Pascal Gélinas
  • Yves Gingras


Using the entire population of professors at universities in the province of Quebec (Canada), this article analyzes the relationship between sex and research funding, publication rates, and scientific impact. Since age is an important factor in research and the population pyramids of men and women are different, the role of age is also analyzed. The article shows that, after they have passed the age of about 38, women receive, on average, less funding for research than men, are generally less productive in terms of publications, and are at a slight disadvantage in terms of the scientific impact (measured by citations) of their publications. Various explanations for these differences are suggested, such as the more restricted collaboration networks of women, motherhood and the accompanying division of labour, women’s rank within the hierarchy of the scientific community and access to resources as well as their choice of research topics and level of specialization.


Sex Research funding Research productivity Research impact Collaboration Age Universities Québec Canada 



The authors wish to thank Brigitte Gemme, Ruby Heap, Lorie Kloda, Moktar Lamari, Christine Lessard, Virginia Trimble, and Matthew Wallace for their useful comments and suggestions. An earlier version of these results has been published in French in the 2010 Compendium d’indicateurs de l’activité scientifique et technologique du Québec of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent Larivière
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Etienne Vignola-Gagné
    • 3
    • 4
  • Christian Villeneuve
    • 5
  • Pascal Gélinas
    • 6
  • Yves Gingras
    • 1
  1. 1.Observatoire des Sciences et des Technologies (OST), Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche sur la Science et la Technologie (CIRST)Université du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.School of Library and Information ScienceIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI)KarlsruheGermany
  4. 4.Life-Science-Governance research platform, Department of Political ScienceUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  5. 5.Direction de l’Analyse et de la Recherche InstitutionnelleUniversité du Québec (UQSS)QuebecCanada
  6. 6.Direction des Politiques et Analyses, Ministère du Développement Économique, de l’Innovation et de l’ExportationQuebecCanada

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