Research patterns in communication (2009-2019): testing female representation and productivity differences, within the most cited authors and the field Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2023

start page

  • 137

end page

  • 156


  • 128

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0138-9130

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1588-2861


  • This study compares the share of male/female as first authors, the growth of authors per paper, and the differences in publication productivity in the last decade of the most cited authors versus the field of communication (i.e., a representative sample of papers published in the field of communication). Results indicate that there are significantly more female first authors in the field than a decade ago, but their proportion among the most cited authors has not grown at a similar pace. Likewise, the number of authors per paper has significantly increased in the field, but not among the most cited authors, who, in turn, publish significantly more papers than the field, both in 2009 and 2019. And not only that, the productivity gap between the most cited authors and the field has substantially increased between the span of this decade. Theoretical implications of these findings and suggestions for future studies are also discussed.


  • Information Science
  • Library Science and Documentation
  • Politics
  • Statistics


  • communication science; communication research; research patterns; productivity