Gender Distribution & Rank of Authorship in Surgical Literature
The American Surgeon
academic medicine, authorship, gender disparities, gender equity, surgical research
BackgroundAuthorship of surgical literature is important for the career advancement of surgeons, and gender disparities in authorship may hinder the representation and leadership of women within academic surgery. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the gender distribution of first, senior, and overall authorship in peer-reviewed surgical journal studies across all surgical specialties to determine if disparities exist.
MethodsPubMed, EMBASE, and Google Scholar databases were searched for studies investigating the gender distribution of authorship of surgical literature published before December 10th, 2021. Meta-analysis was performed and Cohen’s Q test for heterogenous effects was used to determine whether random or fixed-effects models were appropriate.
ResultsFifteen studies investigating gender distribution of authorship met inclusion, which included a total of 136,627 pooled studies. The meta-analysis demonstrated the meta-proportion of first authorship for women to be 20.6% (95% CI: 13.9, 28.2), the meta-proportion of senior authorship for women to be 11.9% (95% CI: 6.6, 18.5), and the meta-proportion of overall authorship for women to be 23% (95% CI: 16.2, 30.7). In addition, the proportion of senior authorship for women was found to be significantly lower than the proportion of overall authorship for women (11.9% versus 23.0%, P = .0106).
ConclusionThere is a significantly smaller proportion of women who are first, senior, and overall authors in surgical literature compared to their colleagues who are men. Sustainable and effective solutions aimed at improving the representation of women surgeons in surgical research and research leadership are necessary.
Selvakumar, Sruthi; Zagales, Israel; Newsome, Kevin; Spardy, Jeffrey; Santos, Radleigh; Boneva, Dessy; Stein, Deborah M.; Kornblith, Lucy; Bilski, Tracy; and Elkbuli, Adel, "Gender Distribution & Rank of Authorship in Surgical Literature" (2022). Mathematics Faculty Articles. 349.