Women Still Vastly Underrepresented as First Authors of Medical Journal Articles

medicalA new study by researchers at Baylor University, Yale University, and the University of New Mexico examined author lists of articles published in six of the world’s leading medical journal over the past 20 years. They found that although women have been graduating from medical school in about equal numbers to men for most of this century, they found that women were vastly underrepresented among lead authors of articles in the leading medical journals.

For articles that the researchers could determine the gender of the lead author, 34 percent, or just over one third, had a woman as lead author. The research did show some improvement. In 1994, women were 27 percent of the lead authors. In 2014, the percentage of women had increased to 37 percent. But the researchers noted that the percentage of lead authors who were women has not increased in the most recent years.

The researchers concluded that the results of their study “suggest that underrepresentation of research by women in high impact journals is still an important concern. The underlying causes need to be investigated to help to identify practices and strategies to increase women’s influence on and contributions to the evidence that will determine future healthcare policies and standards of clinical practice.”

The study, “Trends and Comparison of Female First Authorship in High Impact Medical Journals: Observational Study (1994-2014),” was published in the British Medical Journal. It can be found here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply