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By Megan Lasher
August 1, 2016

You’ve seen it happen: A woman makes a simple statement in a meeting or in conversation and, as if out of nowhere, a mansplainer rises to the occasion to make his vast knowledge known. Mansplainers are teachers of all subjects and students of none—they will tell you things you didn’t know about yourself while affirming the already-true comments you’ve made. But a recent study has identified the mansplainer’s new prey: Himself.

According to a working paper published in the Cornell University Library, male academics are far more likely to cite themselves in papers. The researchers of the study analyzed over 1.5 million academic papers from JSTOR published between 1779-2011. Their conclusion? “Men cite their own papers 56% more than women do.”

“In the last two decades of our data, men self-cite 70% more than women,” the researchers wrote. “Women are also more than ten percentage points more likely than men to not cite their own previous work at all.”

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The Washington Post clarifies that this major gap signifies more than just an ego difference between genders. “Academics are more likely to cite papers that are already well-cited, so citing yourself means more citations from others,” the Post wrote. “And more citations means better career-advancement opportunities.”

And it’s not getting better any time soon: “Despite increased representation of women in academia, this gender gap in self-citation rates has remained stable over the last 50 years,” the paper says.

For now, at least we have this handy tool to measure when men are talking too much.

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