The integration of women authorship in ophthalmic research is comparable to that of other medical specialties, but overall women authors are underrepresented when compared with men, according to a study.
Philipp W. Kramer, MD, of the Institute of Occupational Medicine, Social Medicine and Environmental Medicine at Goethe-University in Germany, and colleagues sought to clarify sex equalities in ophthalmic research by evaluating the representation of female authorships.
The researchers performed a bibliometric analysis of English-language articles published in ophthalmologic journals found in the Web of Science index between January 2008 and August 2018. The proportion of female authorships and ratios of women holding prestigious first and last authorships compared with men, citation rates, productivity analysis, and cross-journal and transnational female representation within ophthalmic research were considered.
Female scholars represented 34.9% of all authorships of 87,640 original articles published in ophthalmology-focused journals. As first and last authors, women represented 37.1% and 27.1%, respectively.
The odds ratio for female-to-male first authorships was 1.12 (95% CI, 1.10-1.14) whereas co-authorships were 1.2 (95% CI, 1.18-1.22). Odds ratio for last authorships was 0.63 (95% CI, 0.62-0.64), with annual growth rates of 1.6% for both overall and first authorships, 1.3% for co-authorships and 2.5% for last authorships.
Articles with female key authors were cited slightly less frequently at a rate of 10.8 to 11 citations per article compared with male authors, whose articles were cited at a rate of 11.5 to 11.7 citations per article.
“Analyzing the authorships, we found a discrepancy in terms of higher odds of women holding co-authorships and first authorships and a lower proportion of last authorships, suggesting an imbalance of leadership positions and a sex-specific career dichotomy,” the authors wrote.
The researchers predicted 44.1% of female authorships and a sex-neutral distribution of prestigious authorships by 2028. – by Earl Holland Jr.
Disclosures: Kramer reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.