Department of Political Science

Scientific performance assessments through a gender lens: A case study on evaluation and selection practices in academia

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Mathias Wullum Nielsen
The focus on excellence and quality assurance in the academy has spawned a signifi cant increase in the use of bibliometric measures in performance assessments of individual researchers. This article investigates the organizational consequences of this development through a gender lens. Based on a qualitative case study of evaluation and selection practices at a Danish university, a number of potential gender biases related to the use of bibliometric performance measures are identified. By taking as default the research preferences, approaches and career paths of a succesful group of predominantly male scholars, evaluators using bibliometrics risk disadvantaging candidates diverging from the norm with implications for gender stratifi cation. Despite these potential biases, bibliometric measures come to function as technologies supporting a managerial narrative of the gender-blind organization. They adhere to the prevailing ethos of the academic meritocracy by standardizing the
criteria for organizational advancement and ensuring transparency and accountability in the selection process. While bibliometric tools in this sense may lead to the recruitment of scientists with a strong CV and track record, they may at the same time prevent many talented researchers diverging from the norm from being recognized and succeed as academics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience & Technology Studies
Pages (from-to)2-30
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • gender and science, bibliometric indicators, research performance, research management, qualitative methods

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 118999021