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Alternative metrics, traditional problems? Assessing gender dynamics in the altmetrics of political science

Meibauer, Gustav, Phull, Kiran ORCID: 0000-0002-1815-2518, Alejandro, Audrey ORCID: 0000-0002-3675-8986 and Ciflikli, Gokhan (2023) Alternative metrics, traditional problems? Assessing gender dynamics in the altmetrics of political science. European Political Science. ISSN 1680-4333

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Identification Number: 10.1057/s41304-023-00431-y


Altmetrics are an emerging form of bibliometric measurement that capture the online dimension of scholarly exchange. Against the backdrop of both a higher education landscape increasingly focused on quantifying research productivity and impact, as well as literature emphasising the need to address gender bias in the discipline, we consider whether and how altmetrics (re)produce gendered dynamics in political science. Using a novel dataset on the Altmetric Attention Scores (AAS) of political science research, we investigate two questions: Do AAS vary by gender? And how do AAS relate to gendered social media dynamics? We find that AAS reproduce gendered dynamics found in disciplinary publication and citation practices. For example, journal articles authored exclusively by female scholars score 27% lower on average than exclusively male-authored outputs. However, men are also more likely to write articles with an AAS of zero. These patterns are shaped by the presence of high-scoring male “superstars” whose research attracts much online attention. Complementing existing scholarship, we show that the AAS closely overlaps with virality dynamics on Twitter. We suggest that these gendered dynamics may be hidden behind the seemingly neutral, technical character of altmetrics, which is worrisome where they are used to evaluate scholarship.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 European Consortium for Political Research
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 03 May 2023 09:30
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2024 08:51

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