, Volume 108, Issue 1, pp 113–141 | Cite as

Is there a gender difference in scientific collaboration? A scientometric examination of co-authorships among industrial–organizational psychologists

  • Clemens B. FellEmail author
  • Cornelius J. König


In modern knowledge societies, scientific research is crucial, but expensive and often publicly financed. However, with regard to scientific research success, some studies have found gender differences in favor of men. To explain this, it has been argued that female researchers collaborate less than male researchers, and the current study examines this argument scientometrically. A secondary data analysis was applied to the sample of a recent scientometric publication (König et al. in Scientometrics 105:1931–1952, 2015. doi: 10.1007/s11192-015-1646-y). The sample comprised 4234 (45 % female) industrial–organizational psychologists with their 46,656 publications (published from 1948 to 2013) and all of their approx. 100,000 algorithmically genderized collaborators (i.e., co-authors). Findings confirmed that (a) the majority of researchers’ publications resulted from collaborations, and (b) their engagement in collaborations was related to their scientific success, although not as clearly as expected (and partly even negatively). However, there was no evidence that a lack of female collaboration causes females’ lower scientific success. In fact, female researchers engage in more scientific collaborations. Our findings have important implications for science and society because they make gender differences in scientific success much harder to rationalize.


Gender differences Collaboration Research productivity Scientific productivity Impact Networking 

Mathematics Subject Classification


JEL Classification




We thank the supportive R community, Kamil Wais for helping us to use genderizeR, and Casper Strømgren for a sufficiently powerful subscription.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fachrichtung PsychologieUniversität des SaarlandesSaarbrückenGermany

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