Research fellow University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
Introduction: Proportional to their representation in urology, women remain scarce in leadership positions and high academic ranks. Although this gap is likely multifactorial, research productivity stands out as one of the main determinants, with female urologist exhibiting lower Hirsch index than their male counterparts. The reasons behind this gender-disparity in female authorship has not been elucidated. The aim of this study is to evaluate if the CiteScore (CS), scope (general vs subspecialty), gender-association among authors, and peer-review in the leading urology journals determine the representation of females as first and senior authors.
Results: A total of 37,414 publications and 65,828 authors were included in the study. Female authorship prevalence was 18.6%, and the proportion of female first authors was significantly greater than that of female senior authors (21% vs 15%, p<.001). Journals within the top third CS had the lowest proportion of female authors, while journals at the bottom third CS had the highest (p <.001). Overall, articles with female first authors were more likely to have a female senior author (OR: 2.72, CI: 2.53-2.92, p<.001), and 15 of the 18 journals showed a gender association. Analysis by scope showed that subspecialty journals had a larger proportion of manuscripts authored by female senior authors than general journals (p=0.046). When female authorship was compared by type of peer-review no significant difference was observed (p=0.09). Nonetheless, when only subspecialty journals were analyzed, double-blinded peer-reviews demonstrated a greater proportion of female first and last authors than single-blinded journals (p <.001). Over the study period, the proportion of females as last authors increased by 3.2% (p=0.045); no significant change in the proportion of females as first authors was observed (p=0.094).
Conclusions: Our data suggests that the proportion of female authorship is determined by the journal’s CS, scope, peer-review, and gender association between first and senior authors. Comprehending the causes of authorship inequity should be a priority in order to create strategies for reducing gender-disparities in the recruitment and promotion of women in academia and leadership position in urology.
Source of Funding: This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant R01 DK130991 and Clinician Scientist Development Grant from the American Cancer Society to RR.