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Valentina Franco-Cardenas, Irena Tsui; Decadelong Gender Presence in Editorials of Ophthalmic Literature. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):120.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Gender imbalance matters because it wastes half of humankind intellectual resources. In recent decades, there has been an increase in the number of women practicing medicine. This shift has reached academic publications in ophthalmology and is changing gender trends. The purpose of this study is to asses if this change is reaching editorials as well, since editorials are articles written by an expert in a field only by invitation of journals editors.
Four leading ophthalmology journals were included in the study: Ophthalmology (Ophthalmol), American Journal of Ophthalmology (AJO), JAMA Ophthalmology (formerly Archives of Ophthalmology) and British Journal of Ophthalmology (BJO). All editorials written in 2000 and 2010 were included in the study. Data collected for each editorial consisted of the name and gender of the first and last author (if available), total number of authors and number of references. A X2 analysis was performed to discern if there was a change over the last decade.
A total of 66 editorials were written in 2000 and 69 editorials in 2010 in 4 leading ophthalmology journals (Ophthalmol 13, AJO 13, JAMA 12, BJO 28). In 2000, 86.4% of all editorials were written by men authors and 13.6% by women either as first or last author; in 2010, 87% were written by men authors only and 13% by women either as first or last author, for a difference of 0.6% (p=0.9023). Single author editorials in 2000 accounted for 72.7% (48), of which 12.5% were written by women (6). For 2010, single author editorials decreased to 60.9% (42), of which 9.5% were written by women (4), for a difference of 11.8% (p=0.512). Multiple author editorials in 2000 accounted for 27.3%, of which 33.3% were written by women; half of them as first and half of them as last authors. In 2010 multiple authorship editorials increased to 39.1%, of which 18.5% were written by women, 2 as first and 3 as last authors, for a 14.8% decrease, which was not significant (P=0.252). Editorials in which a woman was either first or last author had a mean number of references of 15.55+11, editorials written by men only had an average of 12.12+9, (P=0.522).
During the last decade there was no increase in women publishing editorials in this four leading ophthalmology journals. There is a trend towards an increase in multiple authorship editorials in which woman showed a trend to participate more.
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