Analysis Shows Increase of Female First and Senior Authors in Cardiology

The proportion of female first and senior authors may be increasing within cardiology literature, representing the active research involvement of women and rising female mentorship in cardiology research, according to an article published July 30 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Mariam Asghar, MBBS, et al., used the Scopus database to examine articles from six prominent cardiology journals in the years 1996, 2006 and 2016 to determine the percentages of women in the first and senior authorship positions.

Results showed that out of 11,529 articles identified, 16.5 percent of first authors and 9.1 percent of senior authors were female. When analyzed over the 20-year period, the authors found significant increasing trends in female first and senior authorship as the proportion of female first authors increased by 9.5 percent and female senior authors increased by 6.6 percent.

The authors also found encouraging trends toward gender parity, with the proportion of female first and senior authors being higher in 2016 than in 1996 in all instances, even upon subgroup analysis according to journal and national origin of articles.

Furthermore, the authors discovered that female first authors seemed to garner more citations than male first authors, indicating that their articles may be more impactful. They also found that female senior authors were more likely to have a female first author in the same article, likely a result of a mentor-mentee relationship.

"The overall trends are positive and the increasing involvement of women in the field of cardiology will play a key role in helping reach gender parity in authorship of cardiology literature," the authors write. "Concomitantly, the inherent and unconscious gender bias prevalent within the medical community must be addressed to help achieve this goal."

Keywords: Authorship, Mentors, Sexism, Parity, Publications, Writing, Research

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