Trends in Authorship of Articles in Major Ophthalmology Journals by Gender, 2002–2014

Michael Mimouni*, Shiri Zayit-Soudry, Ori Segal, Yoreh Barak, Arie Y. Nemet, Shiri Shulman, Noa Geffen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Purpose To evaluate trends in the prevalence of women authors in ophthalmology in recent years. Design Cohort study. Participants Authors listed in publications of 6 leading ophthalmology journals between January 2002 and December 2014. Methods Using the PubMed search engine, we conducted an observational study of trends in gender distribution of all authors in 6 leading ophthalmology journals between January 2002 and December 2014. In multiauthored articles, the first listed author often is the lead investigator and the last author is the senior author. Therefore, the full names and positions (first, middle, or last) of all authors in every article were collected. A Google-based name identifier was used to assign the gender of authors. Main Outcome Measures Proportion of women authors throughout the study period in all journals, general ophthalmology versus subspecialty journals, and basic science versus clinical research journals. Furthermore, we assessed the proportion of women in different authorship positions (first, middle, and last). Results A total of 102 254 authors from 23 026 published articles were analyzed. There was a significant rise over time in the percentage of women authors, with a steeper slope for first authors than for last authors (P<0.001), although in 2014, women authors were less than the 50% mark in all categories of authorship. The rise in the percentage of women authors was similar in basic and clinical research, but was steeper for first authorship than for last authorship (P<0.001). In all 3 authorship positions (first, middle, or last), women's contributions consistently were higher in basic research publications. The rise in the percentage of women authors was significantly steeper for general journals than for subspecialty journals (P<0.001). There was no significant rise for last authorship in subspecialty journals. In all 3 authorship positions, the proportion of women was consistently higher in general ophthalmology journals than for subspecialty journals. Conclusions Despite an overall increase in the contribution of women to the field of ophthalmology, contributions to articles published in subspecialty ophthalmology journals and the proportion of women listed as last authors on overall articles published in ophthalmology journals are still low.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1824-1828
Number of pages5
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


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