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Michael Mimouni, Ori Segal, Shiri Zayit-Soudry, Arie Y Nemet, Yoreh Barak, Noa Geffen; Female Authorship in Major Academic Ophthalmology Journals: trends in recent years. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):5558.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Despite an improvement in the disparities between men and women, a significant gap between genders exists in many fields of scientific research. The purpose of this study was to evaluate trends in the prevalence of female authorship in Ophthalmology over recent years.
Using the PubMed Search engine, we conducted an observational study of trends in gender distribution of all authors in 6 Ophthalmology journals between January 2002 and December 2014. Journals were chosen based on published impact factors. The full names and the positions (first, middle or last) of all authors in every article were collected. A Google based name identifier was used to determine the gender of authors based on their first names. Names identified with a probability of 3 to 1 and greater were included in final analyses.
A total of 102,254 authors from 23,026 published articles were included. There was a significant rise in the percentage of female authors over time with a steeper slope for first authors than for last (p<0.001) though in 2014 female authors were still below the 50% mark in all categories of authorship. The rise in the percentage of female authorship was similar in basic and clinical research but was steeper for first authorship than for last authorship (p<0.001). In all three authorship positions, female contribution was consistently higher in basic research publications. The rise in the percentage of female authorship was significantly steeper for general journals than for subspecialty journals (p<0.001). There was no significant rise over the years for last authorship in subspecialty journals. In all three authorship positions female contribution was consistently higher in general ophthalmology journals than for subspecialty journals. In multivariate analysis, subspecialty journals and last author position were significantly predictive of male gender while advancing publication year and first author position were significantly predictive of female gender (p<0.001).
Despite an overall increase in the contribution of women to the field of Ophthalmology, a gap still exists between the frequency of women in roles of clinical-practice and that in roles of scientific leadership. In particular, female contribution to papers published in subspecialty Ophthalmology journals, and the proportion of women listed as last authors on overall Ophthalmology publications, are still low.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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