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Japan ranks lowest in number of female researchers publishing academic papers

  • April 7, 2017
  • , Tokyo Shimbun , p. 6
  • JMH Translation

Women accounted for only 20% of all Japanese researchers who published academic papers from 2011 through 2015. Japan ranked the lowest among a total of 12 Western and South American countries and regions surveyed. Elsevier, a leading publishing company headquartered in the Netherlands, compiled this survey result. The publisher examined the gender and organizations of researchers who published academic papers in a broad range of fields including the humanities and social and medical sciences during the periods from 1996 to 2000 and from 2011 to 2015.


During the period from 1996 to 2000, the number of Japanese female researchers accounted for 15%, but the number increased to 20% for the period from 2011 to 2015. Japan is far behind Portugal and Brazil, which led at 49%. Most of the countries surveyed marked higher than 40%. Japan significantly lags behind second-lowest Mexico and Chile (38%).


The number of academic papers published by female researchers was on average worldwide fewer than those published by male researchers. In Japan, however, the opposite was true, with female researchers publishing more papers than their male counterparts.


In general, fewer female than male researchers study overseas, but the reverse is true in Japan.

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