Gender equality matters in the global public law academy for at least three reasons: the production of diverse scholarship, and substantive equality of opportunity for, and the equal exercise of social power by, female-identifying scholars. And while the global public law academy is in many ways becoming more diverse and inclusive, a great deal of work remains to be done to achieve true gender equality, especially after COVID-19, given its impact on geographic and gender (in)equality. In this article, we examine one important dimension to gender equality in the global public law academy: the degree to which articles by female-identifying scholars are cited at rates comparable to those authored by male-identifying scholars. To do so, we construct a unique database of articles published and cited within I•CON itself and use a variety of empirical techniques to analyze this data. Doing so, we find a clear pattern of gendered citation in global public law: while 37% of I•CON articles are authored by at least one female, only 25% of citations include at least one female author. We explore a variety of gendered and non-gendered explanations for the pattern. Perhaps our most striking finding is that male-author teams cite female authors at lower rates than author teams that have at least one female author, an effect that persists even when we account for self-citation, time trends, and the reputation of the cited authors. Notably, female authors cite female scholars at about the same rate as which they are published; the gender citation gap appears to be driven by the citation practices of male scholars alone. This finding suggests that implicit bias in citation, especially by male authors, cannot be ruled out. We therefore explore potential gender-conscious responses to the phenomenon.

Rosalind Dixon & Mila Versteeg, Unsexing citation: Closing the gender gap in global public law, 21 International Journal of Constitutional Law 407–432 (2023).