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Information and Library Science

Research Talk with Yang Yang: Team Diversity and Innovation in Academic Medicine

May 7, 2021 at 12:00pm1:00pm EDT

Virtual (See event details)

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Please join School of Information Studies (iSchool) Professor Yang Yang for a research talk.

Studies of gender in academic medicine have focused on differences in the performance of male and female scientists. But today, most work is done not by individual male or female scientists, but in teams, including mixed-gender teams.

We conducted the first field-wide, longitudinal study of millions of medical researchers with a focus on the link between gender diversity, team leadership, and team performance in medical science. Our original field-wide dataset has over 6.6 million research publications by 3.3 million female and 4.4 million male scientists in 15,033 medical science journals from 2000-2019.

Our analysis quantifies the link between team diversity, leadership, and performance used fixed-effects regressions and null models to control for institutional, journal, and individual performance characteristics. We find that mixed-gender teams publish papers that are up to 7% more innovative and up to 17% more likely to be hits than same-gender teams of equivalent experience, prestige, and individual author success. These relationships strengthen with team size. At the same time, female-led mixed-gender teams have distinct advantages in novelty, yet male last-author mixed-gender teams have distinctive advantages in citation impact.

Overall, despite the revealed benefits of mixed-gender teams, mixed-gender teams remain underrepresented to a degree that is not explained by the incidence of teamwork or women in science. This research sheds new light on gender and merit in science and encourages future work on how a collaborative lens can advance the practice of science.

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This event was published on May 3, 2021.

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