reader request: gender inequality in academic service work


Happy Earth Day! Happy March for Science Day! Today’s Earth day is a bit grim, what with the climate and science being under various forms of attack. Still, as we march and protest and fight back, we must also attend to our own internal problems. Science may not be partisan (or may not have always been partisan), but it’s always been political, which is to say it’s always been about power, who has it, who wields it, what ends it serves, and who gains. One of the more commonplace, everyday kinds of inequality produced by and through science is gender inequality within the academic workplace. For example, a recent study in Research in Higher Education (covered by Bustle here) finds that “women faculty perform significantly more service than men, controlling for rank, race/ethnicity, and field or department” and that this service burden is driven primarily by internal service (to the department or university). A reader asked if scatterplot might do a thread on possible solution to this gendered inequality:

Since this article has been making the rounds, it would be nice to hear about potential solutions above and beyond individual women faculty saying “no.” Do we force unwilling faculty members to do important service functions–even if that means it’s half-assed work that hurts students and other faculty?

I don’t have any great ideas, but I was hoping that some of you all might! My quick thoughts are below the cut, and please add your ideas in the comments.

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sunday morning sociology, back to the demographic future edition


Philip Cohen updates a lovely chart by Du Bois.

A weekly link round-up of sociological work – work by sociologists, referencing sociologists, or just of interest to sociologists. This scatterplot feature is co-produced with Mike Bader.

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guest post: why did marine le pen deny french responsibility for the holocaust?


The following is a guest post by Mathieu Desan.

The first round of the French presidential elections is scheduled for April 23, followed by a run-off between the top two candidates on May 7. Although the dynamic of the race has been volatile, Marine Le Pen of the far-right Front National (FN) is still expected to make it to the second round, with a strong possibility that she will win a plurality in the first. Moreover, with the French party system currently in crisis, all bets are off, and there is a slim chance that Le Pen might even win the run-off.

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guest post: the labor market seems to be missing high-skilled jobs, not high-skilled workers

The following is a guest post by Nate Wilmers.

We often hear that our big jobs problem is that workers without college degrees don’t have the skills needed for “today’s economy.” I’ve been thinking a lot about this chart (from Autor 2015), and I want to suggest that our problem for the last 15+ years has been basically the opposite. For some reason, the economy isn’t creating enough high value-added jobs for college grads and this is messing things up for everyone else.


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sunday morning sociology, gender special edition

Last week’s hubbub over GSS data and the gender attitudes of “kids these days” may have obscured some of the more complicated trends found by Pepin and Cotter, like the above. Check out the rest of the CCF symposium here.

A weekly link round-up of sociological work – work by sociologists, referencing sociologists, or just of interest to sociologists. This scatterplot feature is co-produced with Mike Bader.

This week’s links include everything from sexist interruptions at the Supreme Court to the politics of biological sex differences.

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proquest is hijacking google scholar searches for open access journals

I’m a big fan of Open Access. Open Access (OA) works are, in one way or another, distributed without paywalls so anyone can access them. Promoting OA is why I’m proud to be part of the SocArXiv team (promoting the sharing of paywall-free working papers and preprints) and why I was so excited to publish in Sociological Science and to further support their publishing model. It’s also why I decided to test out a new browser extension called Unpaywall which automatically searches for OA versions of paywalled papers when you go to a publisher’s website. Right now, Unpaywall can’t find preprints on SocArXiv, but hopefully we can make that happen!

In any event, playing around with these tools, I noticed something strange and frustrating. I wanted to see what Unpaywall would do to a publication that was already Open Access, so I searched on Google Scholar for Devah Pager’s recent Sociological Science piece. When I clicked the top link, instead of being taken to the journal’s website, I was routed to a Proquest splash page that looks like this:

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 4.38.44 PM.png

The text at the right says: “This is a short preview of the document. Your library or institution may give you access to the complete full text for this document in ProQuest.” But of course, this is an OA publication in an OA journal. You shouldn’t and don’t need any institutional credentials to get access. What the hell, Proquest? And what the hell, Google Scholar?

If you do click the “Connect to Proquest” link (from a non-University computer), you’re asked to sign in with credentials. Exactly the sort of thing that OA publishing is supposed to prevent. There’s no acknowledgment whatsoever that this is an OA publication, and that Proquest has no claim to it beyond somehow managing to win the Google Scholar algorithm’s top spot. And there’s no way to actually get the paper. The search has been hijacked.

Does anyone have any idea how this happened? Why is Proquest showing up at all in a search of an OA, self-published journal? Why are they showing up top on the Google Scholar spot? And other than writing an angry blog post can I do about it? This feels like some variety of fraud or theft, in moral terms if not legal ones.

N.B. The .pdf link on the right of the first Google Scholar result correctly routes to the free, OA pdf from Sociological Science.

N.B.2 The problem has been multiply confirmed from different computers, in different states, in incognito mode and not.