I wonder if there has been or could be a survey of the different academic fields amongst users on this site? I don't see that the necessary data exist at the moment, but I would be curious to see how broad a coverage of various academic disciplines we have.

I suspect that otherwise-small fields like Computer Science are over-represented (since StackExchange sites have historically referred to these fields).

I thus wonder if there's an inherent bias on this site towards the culture and norms present in certain academic disciplines (as well of course as the geographical bias towards US norms).

This is not to say that if such a bias exists, it is necessarily a problem. But nonetheless, the data would be interesting.

  • 3
    otherwise-small fields like Computer Science — Say what now? Working in a department with 60 faculty and 1700 students, I find the characterization "small" rather incredible. (But your point about overrepresentation is well taken.)
    – JeffE
    Mar 29 '14 at 14:26
  • 1
    @JeffE, according to the NSF statistics, 2.4% of PhD holders in STEM fields (with full time employment) are classified under Computer Science. 4.6% are in Mathematics. 25.1% are in biological sciences. 17.7% are in physical sciences. 15.2% are in Psychology. Computer Science ain't that huge in the bigger picture, even if that bigger picture is limited to STEM.
    – badroit
    Apr 24 '14 at 22:27

We do have a poll question here on meta (see my take on what it is worth). I think you could cull some useful info from the data explorer if you were motivated enough. Geographic data can come from self report in people's bios (clearly non-English speaking places are underrepresented). You could try to link user profiles to other sites for a count of comp-sci vs. other individuals (which would take the data dump I believe).

For a quick check of the geo. distribution you can select the Academia site for Stack Maps. For some reason people with no place addresses are geocoded nearby the Strait of Gibraltar. See this Q on the Stats meta for some other idiosyncrasies of google maps geocoding.

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