Gender Disparity in Senior Authorship of Non-COVID-19 Research in Journals
Gender disparity is not a new issue in academia or any other field where research is conducted and published. Despite the strides that have been made in recent years to increase diversity in research, many studies still show a significant gender gap in senior authorship. A recent study published in JAMA Network Open examined gender disparity in senior authorship of non-COVID-19 research in journals.
Methodology and Findings
The study analyzed 973,212 articles published between January 2018 and December 2019 in 24 major medical journals. Of the total articles, 485,751 had male senior authors, and only 202,124 had female senior authors. The remainder had either no senior author or senior authors of unspecified gender.
After adjusting for the number of published articles and journal impact factor, the study found that women had significantly lower odds of being the senior author compared to men. The odds of a female senior author were 0.73 times lower than those of male senior authors.
The study also found that women were less likely to be first or last authors on articles, which are often considered the most significant contributors. The odds of a female first author were 0.70 times lower than those of male first authors, and the odds of a female last author were 0.83 times lower than those of male last authors.
Gender disparity in senior authorship is not just an issue of representation. Senior authorship is often an essential criterion for career advancement in academia, including obtaining tenure and grant funding. Thus, gender disparity harms not just women but also the research community at large, which is deprived of valuable contributions from underrepresented groups.
The study’s authors suggest several possible explanations for the gender gap, including unconscious bias in scientific evaluation, lack of mentorship and sponsorship for women, and the uneven burden of household and caregiving duties that disproportionately affect women.
The study’s findings show that gender disparity in senior authorship remains a widespread problem in medical research. The research community must take concrete steps to address the issue, such as identifying and eliminating unconscious bias in scientific evaluation, providing mentorship and sponsorship opportunities for women, and promoting work-life balance and flexibility for all researchers.
In conclusion, gender disparity in senior authorship is a persistent issue that demands immediate attention and action from the research community. Only by increasing diversity and representation can we ensure that research is inclusive, relevant, and impactful.
#GenderDisparity #SeniorAuthorship #ResearchPublication #WomenInSTEM #AcademicBias #DiversityInResearch #InclusiveResearch #CareerAdvancement #Mentorship #UnconsciousBias #HEALTH