A study published today in Nature says that women are more likely than their male counterparts not to appear in research papers on which they have collaborated.
This study is in line with other publications showing that female researchers are more easily relegated to the acknowledgements section, even if their contribution was important to the research and they deserve to be listed as authors (Dung et al., 2019).
However, the methodological approach here is very interesting because, instead of focusing on analysing who appears in the publications, they look for people in the research teams who are not present or mentioned. In other words, they look at those collaborations that are not named and are invisible. The only element left out is the analysis of unpaid work. If there are gender differences in unpaid research work, the analysis will not be able to capture these differences.
The sample size is large, covering 9,778 teams over a four-year period, 128,859 people working in those teams, 39,426 journal articles and 7,675 patents produced by those teams. This allows us to examine whether the differences observed reflect this gender disparity in organisational positions or whether it is a matter of authorship attribution. In addition, it is interesting to mix the quantitative with the qualitative, through non-gender-focused surveys. In this part, more intersectionality in terms of race is missing.