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Monday, March 30, 2015

Diversifying Research Methods Syllabi

If you teach methods and statistics courses, organize talks or symposia on good research practices, or simply want to read some good papers, check out this OSF page with a list of papers on research methods. Inspired by recent illustrations of the gender imbalance in contributors to special issues on how to improve research methods, and the gender imbalance in speakers in symposia on good research practices, a group of people came together to create a list of research methods papers first-authored by women. Feel free to contribute suggestions for papers not yet included, or join the Mendeley group created by Kirstie Whitaker to keep track of new additions. You might be able to use the list as inspiration when creating your course syllabus on research methods, or when inviting speakers for a symposium on good research practices. Below is the description of the list, copied from the wiki page on the OSF, and written by Michael Kane:

This document began in light of thoughtful blog posts (e.g., Ledgerwood, Haines, & Ratliff; Jussim & Vazire) -- and a lengthy and impassioned discussion thread on the ISCON Facebook page -- about the lack of diversity of voices in current debates about best practices in psychological research. Upon reading these, I nervously opened the pdf of the syllabus for my graduate research course on psychological research methods (PSY 624). Only 1 of the 40-some required primary articles featured a female lead author. I’m embarrassed to say that this had never occurred to me, despite my teaching a course in which about 70% of the students were women. I now note that, not only have the graduate students in my department had all of their formal instruction in methods and stats delivered by professors who are men, but virtually all the voices they’ve read in my course have also been men’s. Although many of our students are expertly mentored in research by faculty advisors who are women, I am concerned that I have deprived them of additional role models.
I tweeted (@kane_WMC_lab) about my syllabus and started a conversation with Rogier Kievit (@rogierK) and Sanjay Srivastava (@hardsci), in which we estimated that the lack of diversity in my syllabus was also likely true of many others. Rogier suggested to me a few nice papers by female lead authors that I should check out, and then had the wonderful idea to start a crowdsourced list of other work that more instructors and beginning students of research methods should be aware of.
Such a list is important for several reasons. For example, recent empirical research (Malinak et al., Sugimoto et al.) shows that women are half as likely to be first author of a paper, and even when they do take up leading author positions, they are consistently cited less than men, all else being equal
The list is available at the References List by Topic link; most of the initial entries were provided by Rogier Kievit (@rogierK), Jessica Logan (@jarlogan), and Kirstie Whitaker(@kirstie_j), with help from Michael Kane and Daniel Lakens (@lakens). This is a public document that we hope will grow to include dozens of papers that faculty and students alike may benefit from reading. To access any of these articles you're interested in, please join the linked Mendeley Group established by Kirstie Whitaker.
Via comments on the main page of this project (see the blue speech-bubble icon in the upper right corner), please add citations to your favorite articles, chapters, or books about psychological research methods and design, data interpretation, philosophy of science, or “best practices” written by women. We'll aim to incorporate suggested citations into the main list soon after they're suggested.
Ideally this list will focus on those articles that may be especially germane to introductory graduate courses.
-- Michael J. Kane (with Rogier Kievit, Daniel Lakens, Jessica Logan, Brian Nosek, Sanjay Srivastava, Simine Vazire, & Kirstie Whitaker)

Sugimoto, C. R., Lariviere, V., Ni, C. Q., Gingras, Y., & Cronin, B. (2013). Bibliometrics: Global gender disparities in science. Nature, 504(7479), 211-213.
Maliniak, D., Powers, R., & Walter, B. F. (2013). The gender citation gap in international relations. International Organization, 67(04), 889-922.

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