Why female collaboration in science isn't always easy

Collaborations across disciplines are often helpful for generating new research and enhancing scientific thought, however, several barriers prevent women from forming collaborations as easily as men, Nature reported May 2.

Women are often worried that if they do collaborate with other professionals, they will have to fight to get credit for their own work. Women are more likely than men to report getting into authorship disputes, with women reporting that these disputes made them less likely to be involved in future collaborations. 

Collaborations also hinge on having an established network of colleagues and important mentors who can facilitate introductions. Women of color in particular have less access to collaboration and get fewer opportunities to do so for such reasons. 

"It's not about an individual choice," said Laurel Smith-Doerr, PhD, a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. "It's that there are gendered and racialized systems where men have privilege. And that extends to collaboration."

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