Journal Information
Vol. 93. Issue 2.
Pages 84-94 (01 August 2020)
Visits
...
Vol. 93. Issue 2.
Pages 84-94 (01 August 2020)
Original Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.anpede.2020.01.005
Open Access
Gender inequalities in authorship of the main Spanish medical journals in 2017
Desigualdades de género en la autoría de las principales revistas médicas españolas durante el año 2017
Visits
...
Sebastián Tornero Patricioa,
Corresponding author
, Inmaculada O. Alonso Ruedab, Julia García Gozalbesc, José Antonio Domínguez Domínguezd, Liliana Charris-Castroe, María Dolores González-Soriaf, María del Mar García Calventeg
a Subdirección Médica, Área de Gestión Sanitaria Osuna, Hospital La Merced, Servicio Andaluz de Salud, Osuna, Sevilla, Spain
b Centro de Salud Alamillo, Servicio Andaluz de Salud, Sevilla, Spain
c Centre d’Urgències d’Atenció Primària Sant Martí, Institut Català de Salut, Barcelona, Spain
d Centro de Salud Ronda Histórica, Servicio Andaluz de Salud, Sevilla, Spain
e Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos, Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío, Servicio Andaluz de Salud, Sevilla, Spain
f Centro de Salud La Candelaria, Sevilla, Spain
g Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública, Instituto de Investigación Biosanitariaibs.GRANADA, Granada, Spain
Article information
Abstract
Full Text
Bibliography
Download PDF
Statistics
Figures (4)
Show moreShow less
Tables (4)
Table 1. Medical journals and articles included in the study.
Table 2. Bivariate analysis of authorship by sex and type of article.
Table 3. Bivariate analysis of the main types of article in relation to sex, affiliation and country of first author.
Table 4. Bivariate analysis of the main types of article in relation to sex, affiliation and country of senior author.
Show moreShow less
Abstract
Introduction

Some studies have shown a lower female participation in scientific publications. The objective of this study is to analyse the gender inequalities in the main Spanish journals of medical publications.

Material and Method

Cross-sectional study of the main Spanish medical journals classified by SCImago Journal & Country Ranking (n = 24) and their publications (n = 3.375), during the year 2017. Women/men ratio in authorship was calculated for all journals and types of papers. Bivariate analyses were developed with the type of article as the dependent variable,and gender, institution, and country of the first and last authors as the independent variables. Logistic regression models were performed to calculate adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and their 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) of the types of papers according to authorship gender, institution, and country. The statistical program used was R.

Results

The total number of authors was 16,252 (44.2% women, 53.9% men, and 1.9% non-identified gender). Women represented 46% of the first authors and 33.5% of the last ones. Women were the first authors of Editorials less often than men (aOR = 0.39; 95%CI = 0.30−0.51), but more often in Originals (aOR = 1.55; 95%CI = 1.33–1.80). Women were the last authors with less frequency in all types of papers, especially in Editorials (aOR = 0.50; 95%CI = 0.35−0.70). The women/men ratio in authorship was less than 0.80 in 10 of 26 journals analysed (41.7%).

Conclusions

These results show the gender inequalities in the authorship of the main Spanish medical journals in 2017, especially as first authors and Editorials.

Keywords:
Gender inequalities
Authorship
Health Services Research
Gender bias
Medical publications
Resumen
Introducción

El objetivo del estudio es analizar la desigualdad de género en la producción científica de las revistas médicas españolas.

Material y método

Estudio transversal de las principales revistas médicas españolas clasificadas por SCImago Journal & Country Ranking (n = 24) y sus publicaciones (n = 3.375) durante el año 2017. Se calculó la ratio mujer/hombre de autoría según revista y tipo de artículo. Los análisis bivariantes se desarrollaron con la variable dependiente tipo de artículo y las independientes: sexo, centro de trabajo y país de primeras y últimas autorías. Se realizaron modelos de regresión logística para el cálculo de odds ratios ajustadas (ORa) con intervalos de confianza al 95% (IC95%) del sexo de autoría según tipo de artículo, mediante el programa estadístico R.

Resultados

El número total de firmantes fue 16.252 (44,2% mujeres, 53,9% hombres y 1,9% sexo no identificado). Las mujeres representaron el 46% de las primeras autorías y el 33,5% de las últimas. Las mujeres fueron primeras autoras de Editoriales con menor frecuencia que los hombres (ORa = 0,39; IC95% = 0,30−0,51), pero con mayor frecuencia en los Originales (ORa = 1,55; IC95% = 1,33−1,80). Las mujeres fueron últimas autoras con menor frecuencia en todos los tipos de artículos, especialmente en Editoriales (ORa = 0,50; IC95% = 0,35−0,70). La ratio mujer/hombre del total de autoras y autores fue inferior a 0,80 en 10 de las 24 revistas analizadas (41,7%).

Conclusiones

Se demuestra la desigualdad de género en la autoría de las principales revistas médicas españolas en el año 2017, principalmente en las últimas autorías y los Editoriales.

Palabras clave:
Desigualdades de género
Autoría
Investigación en Servicios de Salud
Sesgo de género
Publicaciones médicas
Full Text
Introduction

In recent decades, there has been progress towards closing the gap in career opportunities for men and women, but further efforts are still needed to achieve equality. Official data from 2017 show that while the proportion of women with university degrees education is greater compared to the proportion of men in Spain and in Europe,1,2 the rate of unemployment is higher in women.3,4 Disparities in the burden of informal caregiving in households and career interruptions associated with motherhood are some of the determinants at play in the lower representation of women in positions of power in industry and in academic and research institutions.5 This phenomenon is known as the glass ceiling6 and explains actual inequalities, such as women amounting to only 21% of teaching positions in higher education in Europe and the United States, the higher proportion of women in part-time or temporary positions and the wages of women being up to 18% lower compared to men.7,8 In Spain, women amount to only 39.9% of the teaching and research staff in public universities and 20.8% of tenure positions.9

Glass ceilings also manifest in public health and health care institutions. Studies in Spain and abroad have evinced the inferior representation of women in executive and management positions of scientific associations and societies and in the editorial boards of scientific journals.10–14 A review conducted in 2014 of the management of 173 scientific associations in Spain found only 41 female presidents (22.5%). Also, only 32.4% of management positions and 36.2% of the seats in executive boards were filled by women.10 According to a study published in 2010 that analysed 172 Spanish biomedical journals, only 13% were led by women.13

Research output has a become very important factor in career advancement in the health care field. For the first time in history, in 2017 the number of female doctors exceeded slightly the number of male doctors in Spain.15 The proportion of female doctors in Europe in the same year was 49%.16 In spite of these, there are substantial differences between the sexes (gender gap) in the authorship of scientific publications. A review of the articles published over 35 years in 6 journals with a high impact factor found a lower proportion of women in the first and last listed authors.17 There was an increase in the proportion of female first authors from 5.9% in 1970 to 29.4% in 2004, and of last-listed (senior) authors from 3.7%–19.3% in the same period. Although the number of female authors of articles has increased compared to previous decades, this increase varies based on the type of article. Thus, studies of national and international scope demonstrate that the number of female authors commissioned pieces (editorials) by journals continues to be substantially smaller compared to the number of male authors, rarely exceeding 20% of the total.17–21

Several recent articles have focused on the research output in paediatrics.20,22 A study on gender differences in authorship in 3895 original articles published in Pediatrics, JAMA Pediatrics and The Journal of Pediatrics (2001–2016)22 found an increase through time in the percentage of female first authors, which reached 57.7% in 2016, with a slower advance in the percentage of female senior authors (38.1%). These findings were similar to those of another study published in Anales de Pediatría analysing data for 2017,23 which concluded that editorials and special articles were commissioned to female authors less frequently (35.0%).

The growing awareness of some scientific journals of the gender gap in research output has spurred articles analysing this phenomenon and offering recommendations to close the gap.24–26 In 2016, Anales de Pediatría joined the ranks of the journals publishing the full name of authors, facilitating a perspective on gender in its publications.27,28 Although there are signs suggesting advances toward greater equality, this progress is greater in medical specialities more likely to be chosen by women, such as paediatrics. There is an increasing trend in the representation of women in leadership positions in paediatrics journals and associations in Spain.29–31 However, the current evidence shows that measures still need to be implemented to guarantee progress toward gender equality both in paediatrics and in other medical specialities in Spain.

The objectives of our study were: 1) to determine the position of Anales de Pediatría relative to other Spanish journals in regard to the gender gap and 2) to analyse gender disparities in the scientific output of the main Spanish medical journals.

Material and methods

We conducted a cross-sectional study of authorship in the articles of the main Spanish scientific journals indexed in the SCImago Journal & Country Rank portal,32 a public online portal that provides bibliometric indicators for scientific journals based on data from the Scopus® database. The SCImago Journal Rank is computed using an algorithm that weights the citations received by each publication in the past 3 years based on the prestige of the citing journal.33

We established 2 units of analysis: journals and articles. The main sources of the data for our study were the SCImago Journal & Country Rank (journals) and the websites of the included scientific journals (articles). The terms we used in the portal to obtain data for the journal unit were: subject area = medicine, subject categories = all, country = Spain, type = journal and year = 2017 (last available year).34 The search identified 152 journals, to which we applied the following exclusion criteria: ranking in the 4th quartile or not specified, language other than Spanish, country other than Spain, non-medical content, no content published in 2017 and use of initials in author names. The total number of journals included in the analysis was 24 (Fig. 1). We collected data for the articles unit by reviewing all the articles published in 2017 in the 24 journals, excluding the following types: in memoriam, acknowledgments, special collaborations, prizes and awards, congress abstracts and errata. The total number of articles included in the analysis was 3375. Table 1 presents the characteristics of the included journals and articles.

Figure 1.

Flow chart of journal selection.

(0.21MB).
Table 1.

Medical journals and articles included in the study.

Journal  SJR ranking  SJRindicator  Quartile  n 
Revista Española de Cardiología  11  0.553  Q2  301  8.9% 
Reumatología Clínica  12  0.539  Q3  104  3.1% 
Gaceta Sanitaria  16  0.495  Q2  111  3.3% 
Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas  20  0.417  Q3  280  8.3% 
Nutrición Hospitalaria  21  0.411  Q3  252  7.5% 
Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica  23  0.373  Q3  162  4.8% 
Archivos de Bronconeumología  24  0.366  Q3  258  7.6% 
Endocrinología, Diabetes y Nutrición  28  0.346  Q3  109  3.2% 
Actas Españolas de Psiquiatría  30  0.333  Q3  40  1.2% 
Acta Otorrinolaringológica Española  31  0.307  Q3  75  2.2% 
Nefrología  32  0.294  Q3  130  3.9% 
Atención Primaria  33  0.288  Q2  122  3.6% 
Anales de Pediatría  39  0.277  Q3  169  5.0% 
Medicina Clínica  40  0.262  Q3  416  12.3% 
Revista Española de Quimioterapia  43  0.254  Q3  102  3.0% 
Cirugía Española  45  0.249  Q3  146  4.3% 
Revista Española de Salud Pública  46  0.249  Q3  51  1.5% 
Clínica e Investigación en Arteriosclerosis  47  0.241  Q3  39  1.2% 
Educación Médica  48  0.236  Q3  56  1.7% 
Revista Española de Geriatría y Gerontología  49  0.225  Q3  96  2.8% 
Gastroenterología y Hepatología  52  0.218  Q3  125  3.7% 
Farmacia Hospitalaria  54  0.215  Q3  81  2.4% 
Neurocirugía  58  0.203  Q3  42  1.2% 
Archivos Españoles de Urología  70  0.178  Q3  108  3.2% 
Total  –  –  –  3375  100 

Q, quartile; SJR, SCImago Journal Rank.

To pursue the first objective, we performed a bivariate analysis describing the sex of the authors in every article in each journal by means of absolute and relative frequencies. We determined the sex of the author based on the full name. In case of unusual names, we consulted the first and last name database of the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (National Institute of Statistics),35 assigning the sex corresponding to the greater proportion of individuals with that name in Spain. We assigned the “unidentified sex” category to names not included in that database. To compare the participation of women in the authorship of each journal, we calculated the female-to-male ratio for the total signing authors in each journal. We defined “high participation” as a ratio greater than 1.20, and “low participation” as a ratio lower than 0.80. We extrapolated these cut-off points from the Organic Law on Equality 3/2007,36 which establishes as acceptable a maximum difference of 20 percentage points in general public settings. We have expressed quantitative variables (number of female authors, number of male authors and total signing authors per article) as absolute frequencies, mean and standard deviation (SD).

We pursued the second objective of our study with the journals analysis unit by means of bivariate analyses, calculating the female-to-male ratio for the total of signing authors to compare the participation of female authors in different types of articles. We also performed bivariate analysis comparing the dependent variable (type of article) and different independent variables (sex, affiliation and country of the first and last authors). When more than one affiliation was reported for a single author, we selected the affiliation that was listed first. We eliminated observations missing information on one of these independent variables, which left a total of 3303 observations for the first author and 3067 for the last author. We used the χ2 test or the Fisher exact test in case of expected counts of less than 5. Lastly, we fitted binary logistic regression models to perform the multivariate analysis. To this end, we created dichotomous qualitative dependent variables based on the type of article for the categories editorial, letter to the editor/director, original article/brief original article and case reports/scientific letters/images. We defined statistical significance as a p-value of less than 0.05. We calculated the odds ratio for the sex of the first and last author adjusted by affiliation and country (aOR) with the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We performed the analysis with the software R, version 3.5.1.

Since category assignments in the analysis of the 3375 articles were not automated, we performed a quality control analysis of the database. We reviewed the first original article in every issue of the journals, detecting errors in 4.6% and 3.6% of the 195 reviewed articles in the identification of the gender and affiliation of the first author and in 2.6% and 5.6% of the articles in the gender and affiliation of the senior authors, respectively.

Results

We included a total of 3375 articles published in the 24 medical journals included in the study. The 6 journals with the highest output were Medicina Clínica (12.3%), Revista Española de Cardiología (8.9%), Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas (8.3%), Archivos de Bronconeumología (7.6%), Nutrición Hospitalaria (7.5%) and Anales de Pediatría (5.0%). Combined, these journals account for nearly half of the total articles (49.6%) (Table 1).

The total number of authors of both sexes listed in the 3375 articles was 16 252 (mean, 4.81; SD, 3.33). Of all authors, 44.2% were women, 53.9% men and 1.9% of unidentified sex. The mean number of female authors per article was 2.13 (SD, 2.05) and the mean number of male authors, 2.60 (SD, 2.34). After excluding observations in which we could not identify the sex of an author, we found that 46% of the 3308 first authors and 33.5% of the 3071 senior authors were women.

The journals with a greater participation of female authors were Farmacia Hospitalaria (female-to-male ratio, 1.78), Anales de Pediatría (1.36) and Gaceta Sanitaria (1.22). Ten journals had low rates of female authorship, and 11 had equal distribution (Table 2).

Table 2.

Bivariate analysis of authorship by sex and type of article.

Journal  FemaleMaleUnidentified sexTotal  F:M ratio 
  n  n  n     
Revista Española de Cardiología  450  28.2  1113  69.7  33  2.1  1596  0.40 
Reumatología Clínica  251  48.7  260  50.5  0.8  515  0.97 
Gaceta Sanitaria  308  54.5  252  44.6  0.9  565  1.22 
Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas  492  40.6  694  57.2  27  2.2  1213  0.71 
Nutrición Hospitalaria  1004  52.3  879  45.8  36  1.9  1919  1.14 
Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica  422  49.6  422  49.6  0.7  850  1.00 
Archivos de Bronconeumología  426  41.1  564  54.4  46  4.4  1036  0.76 
Endocrinología. Diabetes y Nutrición  298  52.3  264  46.3  1.4  570  1.13 
Actas Españolas de Psiquiatría  100  52.9  88  46.6  0.5  189  1.14 
Acta Otorrinolaringológica Española  129  40.2  190  59.2  0.6  321  0.68 
Nefrología  409  47.1  403  46.4  56  6.5  868  1.01 
Atención Primaria  245  49.3  250  50.3  0.4  497  0.98 
Anales de Pediatría  480  56.7  354  41.8  13  1.5  847  1.36 
Medicina Clínica  689  43.4  878  55.3  20  1.3  1587  0.78 
Revista Española de Quimioterapia  306  50.3  300  49.3  0.3  608  1.02 
Cirugía Española  249  32.0  503  64.7  25  3.2  777  0.50 
Revista Española de Salud Pública  145  54.5  121  45.5  0.0  266  1.20 
Clínica e Investigación en Arteriosclerosis  64  36.2  110  62.1  1.7  177  0.58 
Educación Medica  50  29.9  113  67.7  2.4  167  0.44 
Revista Española de Geriatría y Gerontología  186  44.8  225  54.2  1.0  415  0.83 
Gastroenterología y Hepatología  340  47.9  370  52.1  0.0  710  0.92 
Farmacia Hospitalaria  238  64.0  134  36.0  0.0  372  1.78 
Neurocirugía  60  28.3  149  70.3  1.4  212  0.40 
Archivos Españoles de Urología  142  26.1  393  72.1  10  1.8  545  0.36 
Type of article
Original or brief original  3724  47.2  4012  50.8  154  2.0  7890  0.93 
Scientific letter, case report or images  1603  42.6  2080  55.2  82  2.2  3765  0.77 
Letter to the editor/director  930  46.2  1036  51.5  45  2.2  2011  0.90 
Editorial  233  29.4  545  68.7  15  1.9  793  0.43 
Other  695  38.8  1092  60.9  0.3  1793  0.64 

F, female; M, male.

The most frequent types of articles were original articles (30.8%), followed by scientific letters-case reports-images (27.3%) and letters to the editor/director (17.5%) (Fig. 2). The bivariate analysis of all signing authors by sex and type of article for the total articles in every journal found a predominance of male authors over female authors in every type of article, with female-to-male ratios lower than 0.80 for the editorials (0.43), scientific letters-case reports-images (0.77) and other articles (0.64) (Table 2).

Figure 2.

Distribution by type of article.

(0.1MB).

Table 3 presents results of the bivariate analysis of the type of article and sex, affiliation and country of the first author. With the exception of original articles-brief original articles, we found a higher proportion of male authors in all other types of articles. Of the 302 editorials included in this analysis, 81 (36.7%) had a female first author. Of the total of female first authors, 5.3% corresponded to authors of editorials, compared to 12.4% of male first authors (P < .001). However, when we analysed original and brief original articles, we found a greater proportion of female first authors compared to male first authors (40.9 vs 31.5%; P < .001), with a gender gap of + 9.4% in favour of women. When it came to the affiliation of the first author in relation to the type of article, we found a higher proportion of authors employed in primary care in the letters to the editor/director (29.0%), of authors employed in research centres or universities in the original and brief original articles (58.8%), and of authors engaged in speciality care in the scientific letters-case reports-images (34.1%) (P < .001). Last of all, the comparison of the type of article and the country listed for the first author revealed statistically significant differences in the original and brief original articles and the scientific letters-case reports-images, with a greater proportion of first authors not from Spain in case of the original articles and original brief articles (43.7 vs. 34.1%) and a greater proportion of first authors from Spain in scientific letters-case reports-images (20.4 vs 28.6%) (P < .001). In the binary logistic regression analysis of the type of article by sex, affiliation and country of the first author we found statistically significant aORs for the variable sex (female vs male author) in editorials (aOR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.30−0.51) and original and brief original articles (aOR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.33–1.80) (P < .001) (Fig. 3).

Table 3.

Bivariate analysis of the main types of article in relation to sex, affiliation and country of first author.

VariablesMain types of articles
EditorialsLetters to editor/directorOriginal and brief original articlesCase reports, scientific letters, images
YesNoP2)YesNoP2)YesNoP2)YesNoP2)
n  n  n  n  n  n  n  n 
Sex
Female  81  5.3  1562  94.7  <.001266  17.5  1254  82.5  .965621  4.9  899  59.1  <.001418  27.5  1102  72.5  .656
Male  221  12.4  1439  87.6  311  17.4  1472  82.6  562  31.5  1221  68.5  478  26.8  1305  73.2 
Affiliation
SC  200  8.3  2202  91.7  <.001447  18.6  1955  81.4  <.001693  28.9  1709  71.1  <.001820  34.1  1582  65.9  <.001
PC  6.5  87  93.5  27  29.0  66  71.0  38  4.9  55  59.1  15  16.1  78  83.9 
RC-U  63  9.9  575  9.1  84  13.2  554  86.8  375  58.8  263  41.2  49  7.7  589  92.3 
Other  63  19.4  137  8.6  19  11.2  151  88.8  77  45.3  93  54.7  12  7.1  158  92.9 
Country
Spain  246  9.0  2474  91.0  .670475  17.5  2245  82.5  .985928  34.1  1792  65.9  < .001777  28.6  1943  71.4  < .001
Not Spain  56  9.6  527  9.4  102  17.5  481  82.5  255  43.7  328  56.3  119  2.4  464  79.6 

PC, primary care; RC-U, research centres and universities; SC, speciality care.

Figure 3.

Odds ratio of multivariate analysis considering the type of article and author sex adjusted for author affiliation and country.

(0.08MB).

When it came to the bivariate analysis of the type of article by sex, affiliation and country of the last author, we found distribution trends similar to those observed in the analysis of first authors (Table 4). We found a male predominance in the senior authors of all 4 types of articles under study. This was also the case of original and brief original articles, in which we found no statistically significant differences (P = .326). Of the 200 editorials analysed, 42 (21%) listed a female senior author and 158 (79%) a male senior author. In the multivariate analysis of authorship of editorials by sex, affiliation and country of the senior author, we only obtained a statistically significant aOR in the comparison of female versus male authors: 0.50 (95% CI, 0.35−0.70) (Fig. 4).

Table 4.

Bivariate analysis of the main types of article in relation to sex, affiliation and country of senior author.

VariablesMain types of articles
EditorialsLetters to editor/directorOriginal and brief original articlesCase reports, scientific letters, images
YesNoP2)YesNoP2)YesNoP2)YesNoP2)
n  n  n  n  n  n  n  n 
Sex
Female  42  4.1  987  95.9  <.001189  18.4  840  81.6  .148404  39.3  625  60.7  .326289  28.1  740  71.9  .504
Male  158  7.8  1880  92.2  332  16.3  1706  83.7  763  37.4  1275  62.6  596  29.2  1442  70.8 
Affiliation
SC  131  6.0  2056  94.0  .003a416  19.0  1771  81.0  < .001627  28.7  1560  71.3  <.001819  37.4  1368  62.6  <.001
PC  0.0  50  100  16  32.0  34  68.0  25  50.0  25  50.0  8.0  46  92.0 
RC-U  46  7.2  590  92.8  62  9.7  574  90.3  410  64.5  226  35.5  54  8.5  582  91.5 
Other  23  11.9  171  88.1  27  13.9  167  86.1  105  54.1  89  45.9  4.1  186  95.9 
Country
Spain  140  5.6  2370  94.4  <.001447  17.8  2063  82.2  .101912  36.3  1598  63.7  <.001767  30.6  1743  69.4  <.001
Not Spain  60  10.8  497  89.2  74  13.3  483  86.7  255  45.8  302  54.2  118  21.2  439  78.8 

PC, primary care; RC-U, research centres and universities; SC, speciality care.

a

Fisher exact test (expected counts <5).

Figure 4.

Odds ratio of multivariate analysis considering the type of article and senior author sex adjusted for author affiliation and country.

(0.08MB).
Discussion

The results of our study evince gender inequality in the authorship of articles published by the leading Spanish medical journals in 2017 analysed as a whole. However, we found substantial differences between journals in the sex distribution of authors. The female-to-male ratio of the 24 journals analysed ranged from 0.36 (Archivos Españoles de Urología) to 1.78 (Farmacia Hospitalaria).Anales de Pediatría is the second leading journal in terms of the participation of women authors (1.36).

The number of female authors was lower compared to the number of male authors both in the analysis of the total of signing authors for all the articles in all the included journals and when we only analysed the first- and last-signing authors. The differences were greatest when it came to the senior, last-signing author. The analysis by type of article and by sex revealed that male authors exceeded female authors in all types of articles except in the case of first authors of original articles. These findings were consistent with those of previous studies17–23 and support the hypothesis of female first authors being expected to work on tasks that require more effort in the publication of a manuscript.37 The predominance of men among senior authors in most types of articles may be an indirect marker of gender inequality in positions of leadership and power in top management positions in health care facilities and research centres and in the funding of research projects led by women.7,8,24,25,38

The results of the analysis of the secondary independent variables, the affiliation of the author and the country of origin, revealed the association between the time available to the author to devote to research and scientific output. Thus, professions involving clinical practice and Spain as the country of origin are associated with the publication of fewer original articles in the Spanish journals included in our study.

These findings were consistent with those of other studies conducted in Spain and in other countries11,17–22 as regards gender inequalities in scientific output. While there has been an increasing trend in the scientific output of women at the international level,17,19 it continues to be less than the output of men, despite women amounting to 50% or more of professionals in medicine.7,8,15,24 Our study adds to the scientific evidence demonstrating the gender gap in scientific journals by type of article, with a greater frequency of women signing as first authors in original articles and a greater frequency of men signing as first and last authors in editorials.21–23 These findings may reflect the presence of unintentional gender biases in favour of men when it comes to the selection of authors for articles commissioned by journals, which would not manifest in spontaneously submitted articles subject to peer review.7,14,37

One of the strengths of our study is the large number of authors (n = 16 252) and articles (n = 3375) analysed, all from the 24 Spanish medical journals that are most relevant in the current scientific scene. The inclusion of 2 units of analysis allowed us to differentiate scientific output by sex in each journal and by type of article. The analysis of both the total number of signing authors and of the numbers of first and last authors contributes information on the scientific output of each sex at different levels. And the multivariate analyses adjusted by author affiliation and country of origin complemented these results with impact indicators. Some of the limitations of our study include the potential risk of bias due to nondifferential misclassification in relation to the erroneous determination of the sex of the author, which, given the quality control analysis that we performed, could have amounted to 4.6% of first authors and 2.6% of last authors, a percentage comparable to the percentage reported by a study performed with similar methods.19 On the other hand, the proportions of female and male authors in a journal may be affected by the number of female and male clinicians active in each speciality. To adjust for this potential effect, we sent a message to the official e-mail addresses of the journals and the associations they were affiliated to asking about the sex distribution of members in the speciality that was the focus of the journal, but due to the low response rate we were unable to assess the impact of this factor in our analysis.

The participation of female authors in the scientific output of Anales de Pediatría is high. These are encouraging data in regard to the fight against gender inequality, but additional studies are required to determine the extent to which these positive outcomes can be attributed to the greater number of female paediatricians today. Furthermore, we invite a reflection on the causes of the persisting gender gap in senior authorship and the commission of editorials by the journal, the sex distribution of peer reviewers (40.4% women)39 and the sex distribution of the editorial committee (29.5% women).31 The development of a gender equality policy in scientific publications could contribute to this goal.40

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

References
[1]
Instituto Nacional de Estadística de España. Nivel educativo de la población mayor de 16 años en España [Internet]. 2018 [citado el 22/06/2019]. Disponible en: http://www.ine.es/jaxiT3/Datos.htm?t=6347.
[2]
Eurostat. Nivel educativo por sexo de la población de la Unión Europea, 2018 [Internet]. 2019 [citado el 22/06/2019]. Disponible en: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database.
[3]
Eurostat. Porcentaje de la población de 20 a 64 años empleada en los 28 países miembros de la Unición Europea [Internet]. 2017 [citado el 22/06/2019]. Disponible en: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/tgm/refreshTableAction.do?tab=table&plugin=1&pcode=t2020_10⟨uage=en.
[4]
Instituto Nacional de Estadística de España. Encuesta de población activa en España [Internet]. 2018 [citado el 22/06/2019]. Disponible en: https://www.ine.es/dyngs/INEbase/es/operacion.htm?c=Estadistica_C&cid=1254736176918&menu=resultados&secc=1254736195128&idp=1254735976595.
[5]
M.M. García Calvente, M.L. Jiménez Rodrigo, E. Martínez Morante.
Guía para incorporar la perspectiva de género a la investigación en salud [Internet]. Escuela An.
Serie Monográfica EASP no48, pp. 173
[6]
C. Colomer Revuelta, R. Peiró Pérez.
¿Techos de cristal y escaleras resbaladizas? Desigualdades de género y estrategias de cambio en SESPAS.
Gac Sanit., 16 (2002), pp. 358-360
[7]
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission. SHE figures 2015 [Internet]. European C. European Union. 2016. 224 p. [citado el 22/06/2019]. Disponible en: https://ec.europa.eu/research/swafs/pdf/pub_gender_equality/she_figures_2015-final.pdf.
[8]
H. Shen.
Inequality quantified: Mind the gender gap.
[9]
Ministerio de Educación Cultura y Deporte del Gobierno de España. Datos y cifras del sistema universitario español, curso 2015-2016 [Internet]. Catálogo de publicaciones del Ministerio. 2016 [citado el 22/06/2019]. Disponible en: https://sede.educacion.gob.es/publiventa/descarga.action?f_codigo_agc=18170.
[10]
R. Casado-Mejías, A. Botello-Hermosa.
Representatividad de las mujeres en las sociedades científicas españolas del ámbito de la salud en 2014.
Gac Sanit., 29 (2015), pp. 209-212
[11]
E. Mauleón, L. Hillán, L. Moreno, I. Gómez, M. Bordons.
Assessing gender balance among journal authors and editorial board members.
Scientometrics., 95 (2013), pp. 87-114
[12]
K. Amrein, A. Langmann, A. Fahrleitner-Pammer, T.R. Pieber, I. Zollner-Schwetz.
Women underrepresented on editorial boards of 60 major medical journals.
[13]
C. Miqueo Miqueo, C. Germán Bes, T. Fernández-Turrado, M.J. Barral Morán.
Disparidad de género en los órganos directivos de las revistas biomédicas españolas [Internet].
[14]
M.M. García-Calvente, M.T. Ruiz-Cantero, M. Río-Lozano, C. Borrell, M.P. López-Sancho.
Desigualdades de género en la investigación en salud pública y epidemiología en España.
Gac Sanit [Internet]., 29 (2015), pp. 404-411
[15]
Instituto Nacional de Estadística de España. Número de profesionales médicos colegiados por año [Internet]. 2017 [citado el 22/06/2019]. Disponible en: https://www.ine.es/jaxi/Datos.htm?path=/t15/p416/serie/l0/&file=s01001.px.
[16]
Eurostat. Healthcare personnel statistics: physicians [Internet]. 2018 [citado el 22/06/2019]. Disponible en: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Healthcare_personnel_statistics_-_physicians.
[17]
R. Jagsi, E.A. Guancial, C.C. Worobey, L.E. Henault, Y. Chang, R. Starr, et al.
The “gender gap” in authorship of academic medical literature a 35-year perspective.
[18]
K.M. Rexrode.
The gender gap in first authorship of research papers.
Br Med J., 352 (2016), pp. i1130
[19]
G. Filardo, B. Da Graca, D.M. Sass, B.D. Pollock, E.B. Smith, M.A.M. Martínez.
Trends and comparison of female first authorship in high impact medical journals: Observational study (1994-2014).
BMJ., 352 (2016), pp. 1-8
[20]
W.A. Williams, K.L. Garvey, D.M. Goodman, D.S. Lauderdale, L.F. Ross.
The Role of Gender in Publication in The Journal of Pediatrics 2015-2016: Equal Reviews, Unequal Opportunities.
J Pediatr [Internet]., (2018), pp. 1-8
[21]
A. Schiaffino, M. García, E. Fernández.
Autoría y presentación de resultados según el género en cuatro revistas biomédicas españolas.
Gac Sanit., 15 (2001), pp. 251-254
[22]
M. Fishman, W.A. Williams, D.M. Goodman, L.F. Ross.
Gender Differences in the Authorship of Original Research in Pediatric Journals, 2001-2016.
J Pediatr., 191 (2017), pp. 244-249
[23]
S. Tornero Patricio, L. Charris-Castro, I.O. Alonso Rueda, M.D. González Soria.
Factores relacionados con la autoría de las publicaciones en Anales de Pediatría.
An Pediatr [Internet], 90 (2019), pp. 201-203
[24]
Nature Editorials.
Science for all.
Nature [Internet], 495 (2013), pp. 5
[25]
G. Shannon, M. Jansen, K. Williams, C. Cáceres, A. Motta, A. Odhiambo, et al.
Gender equality in science, medicine, and global health: where are we at and why does it matter?.
[26]
C. Borrell, C. Vives-Cases, M.F. Domínguez-Berjón, C. Álvarez-Dardet.
Las desigualdades de género en la ciencia: Gaceta Sanitaria da un paso adelante.
Gac Sanit., 29 (2015), pp. 161-163
[27]
S. Tornero Patricio, M.M. García Calvente, L. Charris Castro.
Necesidad de la perspectiva de género en el anuario de Anales de Pediatría.
[28]
E. Lurbe i Ferrer, L. Alsina Manrique de Lara, L.M. Rodríguez Fer-nández, G. Solís Sánchez.
Necesidad de la perspectiva de género en el anuario de Anales de Pediatría. Respuesta de los autores.
An Pediatría [Internet], 83 (2015), pp. 226
[29]
Asociación Española de Pediatría. Junta Directiva de la Asociación Española de Pediatría [Internet]. 2019 [citado el 22/06/2019]. Disponible en: https://www.aeped.es/junta-directiva.
[30]
S. Tornero Patricio, L. Charris-Castro, I.O. Alonso Rueda.
Representación femenina en las juntas directivas de las asociaciones y sociedades de Pediatría en España.
[31]
Anales de Pediatría. Comité Editorial de la Revista Anales de Pediatría [Internet]. 2019 [citado el 22/06/2019]. Disponible en: https://www.analesdepediatria.org/es-comite-editorial.
[32]
SCImago Journal & Country Ranking. About us [Internet]. 2019 [citado el 22/06/2019]. Disponible en: https://www.scimagojr.com/aboutus.php.
[33]
V.P. Guerrero, F. Moya.
A further step forward in measuring journals’ scientific prestige: the SJR2 indicator.
J Informetr [Internet]., 6 (2012), pp. 674-688
[34]
SCImago Journal & Country Ranking. Criterios de selección de revistas médicas SCImago [Internet]. 2019 [citado el 04/09/2018]. Disponible en: https://www.scimagojr.com/journalrank.php?area=2700&country=ES&type=j&min=0&min_type=cd.
[35]
Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas. Base de datos de nombres y apellidos [Internet]. 2018 [citado 04/09/2018]. Disponible en: http://www.ine.es/widgets/nombApell/index.shtml.
[36]
Agencia Estatal Boletín Oficial del Estado. Ley Orgánica 3/2007, de 22 de marzo, para la igualdad efectiva de mujeres y hombres [Internet]. Boletin Oficial del Estado. 2007. p. 12611–45 [citado el 17/04/2019]. Disponible en: https://www.boe.es/buscar/doc.php?id=BOE-A-2007-6115.
[37]
B. Macaluso, V. Larivière, T. Sugimoto, C.R. Sugimoto.
Is science built on the shoulders of women? A study of gender differences in contributorship.
Acad Med., 91 (2016), pp. 1136-1142
[38]
S. Heidari, T.F. Babor, P. De Castro, S. Tort, M. Curno.
Sex and gender equity in research: rationale for the SAGER guidelines and recommended use.
Res Integr Peer Rev [Internet], 1 (2016), pp. 1-9
[39]
C. Rey, L. Alsina, Lara M. De, A.C. Garcinu.
Informe anual de los editores de Anales de Pediatría.
[40]
S. Heidari, T.F. Babor, P. De Castro, S. Tort, M. Curno.
Equidad según sexo y de género en la investigación: justificación de las guías SAGER y recomendaciones para su uso.

Please cite this article as: Tornero Patricio S, Alonso Rueda IO, Gozalbes JG, et al. Desigualdades de género en la autoría de las principales revistas médicas españolas durante el año 2017. An Pediatr (Barc). 2020;93:84–94.

Idiomas
Anales de Pediatría (English Edition)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Article options
Tools
es en

¿Es usted profesional sanitario apto para prescribir o dispensar medicamentos?

Are you a health professional able to prescribe or dispense drugs?

es en
Política de cookies Cookies policy
Utilizamos cookies propias y de terceros para mejorar nuestros servicios y mostrarle publicidad relacionada con sus preferencias mediante el análisis de sus hábitos de navegación. Si continua navegando, consideramos que acepta su uso. Puede cambiar la configuración u obtener más información aquí. To improve our services and products, we use "cookies" (own or third parties authorized) to show advertising related to client preferences through the analyses of navigation customer behavior. Continuing navigation will be considered as acceptance of this use. You can change the settings or obtain more information by clicking here.