How Many Citations to Women Is “Enough”? Estimates of Gender Representation in Political Science

How Many Citations to Women Is “Enough”? Estimates of Gender Representation in Political Science

By Michelle L. Dion, McMaster University, Sara McLaughlin Mitchell, University of Iowa

Recent studies identified gendered citation gaps in political science journal articles, with male scholars being less likely to cite work by female scholars in comparison to their female peers. Although journal editors, editorial boards, and political scientists are becoming more aware of implicit biases and adopting strategies to remedy them, we know less about the proper baselines for citations in subfields and research areas of political science. Without information about how many women should be cited in a research field, it is difficult to know whether the distribution is biased. Using the gender distribution of membership in professional political science organizations and article authors in 38 political science journals, we provide scholars with suggested minimum baselines for gender representation in citations. We also show that women represent a larger share of organization members than the authors in sponsoring organizations’ journals.

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