, Volume 103, Issue 3, pp 795–812

Research on women in science and higher education: a bibliometric analysis

  • Tahereh Dehdarirad
  • Anna Villarroya
  • Maite Barrios


The main objective of this paper is to study the development and growth of scientific literature on women in science and higher education. A total of 1415 articles and reviews published between 1991 and 2012 were extracted from the Thomson Reuters Web of Science database. Standard bibliometric indicators and laws (e.g. Price’s, Lotka’s, and Bradford’s laws) were applied to these data. In addition, the Gender Inequality Index (GII) was obtained for each country in order to rank them. The results suggest an upward trend not only in the number of papers but also in the number of authors per paper. However, this increase in the number of authors was not accompanied by greater international collaboration. The interest in gender differences in science extends too many authors (n = 3064), countries (n = 67), and research areas (n = 86). Data showed a high dispersion of the literature and a small set of core journals focused on the topic. Regarding the research areas, the area with the highest frequency of papers was Education and Educational Research. Finally, our results showed that countries with higher levels of inequality (higher GII values) tend to present higher relative values of scientific productivity in the field.


Gender differences Higher education Science Bibliometrics 

Mathematics Subject Classification

01-00 62-07 

JEL Classification

C10 O30 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tahereh Dehdarirad
    • 1
  • Anna Villarroya
    • 2
  • Maite Barrios
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Library and Information ScienceUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Public Economy, Political Economy and Spanish EconomyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Methodology of the Behavioural SciencesUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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