Becoming a Reader (Docent) at Linköping University (Institute of Technology)

Slowly the 14th of October is approaching. That day at 15.15 in Signalen, a conference room in one of our main buildings, I will give a speech such that I can formally call my self a Reader, or Docent in Swedish. If they like my talk …

A while ago I posted about the university ranking systems and how different ways of counting can be used to create almost any list… Same with academic titles. Every country strives to have the “best” academic titles. If you become a professor in your specific country, that’s better than other countries’, etc. As described quite well in the wikipedia the Docent title is the highest academic “degree” you can get here, sort of (professor is a position) and it entitles you to formally supervise Ph.D. students as main supervisor and bring them towards finalization of their dissertations.

In addition, we of course have a control document within the university stating how things should be translated. And we use British English and not American English.

Anyways, I asked for some statistics in order to make a bibliometry and put my lecture into that context. A sort of metastudy.
That required slightly more work than expected, and instead I got the total list of Docents (Readers), versus year, department, etc. Already 15 years ago, Jan Perselli did a similar study on the list. He concluded that the number of female readers was very low. Has it changed since?

Well, look at the pictures below. First we have the accumulated number of readers. Notice that it is not growing exponentially. It tracks however the number of students at the university quite well. To date we have almost 500 people that can call them selves “Oavlönad Docent vid Linköpings Tekniska Högskola”.


In the next picture, I plot the number of fresh female Readers – per year – compared to the total number – per year. I also added a more realistic linear trendline.
But things have not really changed since 1999. I do admit that the Institute of Technology is perhaps not the best example of a 50%-50% male-female distribution. But yet … there ought to be some more, or? Currently, ladies are at some meager 4 to 5 per year, whereas men around 15 or so.


And what happened in 1999 and 2005?

One thought on “Becoming a Reader (Docent) at Linköping University (Institute of Technology)

  1. Pingback: Becoming a Reader (Docent) at Linköping University (Institute of Technology), Part 2 | Mixed-Signal Comments

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