In February 2021, I gave a presentation during a FEM (Female EMpowerment) lunch meeting at Maastricht University. It was called “Holding ourselves accountable: Overcoming bias in citation practices”. This was inspired by the book, Data Feminism (The MIT Press, 2020) by Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren Klein. After the meeting, Aurélie Carlier (member of FEM Board) invited anyone who was interested to join us in preparing this guide. Sharon Anyango, Nicole Basaraba, Lidwien Hollanders and Hang Nguyen all contributed. We discuss the importance of citation, and gives examples of good practice for students, teachers, peer reviewers and editors. You can find the Guide on the FEM website.
Acknowledging the ideas and contributions of women and other groups is important. But it is not a substitute for the work needed to improve the position of such groups in universities. We still need to pay attention to the structural features of education, work and childcare that have long hindered women’s academic career prospects.
This work is gaining traction. On May 16 2022, we published a short piece on the LSE Impact Blog. In that we reflect on the need for ‘citational justice’. On 3 June, Aurélie and I will present our ideas at CWTS, also with a view to developing better metrics. The video of the presentation and discussion is available on the CWTS website.
The image here is what I call “Knitted Web of Science #1”, a small piece of knitting I made a few years ago, that depicts the gendered referencing of some colleagues. This accompanied the article in Science Guide, written by Katie Digan, based on her interview with Aurélie and me in April 2021.