Gender trends in authorship of Pediatric Radiology publications and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

This article was originally published here

Pediatr Radiol. 2021 Oct 21. doi: 10.1007/s00247-021-05213-6. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has heightened existing gender differences in academic productivity in medicine. There have been discrepant repercussions for women in academics due to the pandemic, including fewer publications, potentially impacting academic advancement.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate trends over time in the gender of authors of manuscripts submitted to Pediatric Radiology.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective review of unsolicited manuscripts submitted to Pediatric Radiology from January 2017 to December 2020 included only submissions from North America. For each submission, genders of the first, last (senior) and corresponding authors were inferred by inspection or confirmed by internet search. Chi-square and Fisher exact tests were used to compare authorship gender proportions. Quarterly comparisons between 2019 and 2020 were performed to assess for differences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RESULTS: Between 2017 and 2020, 1,018 manuscripts were submitted. There was no significant difference in female authorship over time (P > 0.05 for first, last and corresponding authors), but there was an increase in female first authorship (38.6% in 2017, 43.2% in 2020). The frequencies of female first (P = 0.03) and last (P = 0.01) authors were significantly higher for educational manuscripts (reviews and pictorial essays) versus other manuscript types. Manuscript submissions increased in the second quarter of 2020; however, there was a statistically significant decrease in last authorship by women during this period (P = 0.02).

CONCLUSION: Female authorship of manuscripts submitted to Pediatric Radiology has remained relatively stable between 2017 and 2020. During the early phase (March-May 2020) of the COVID-19 pandemic, female last authorship was significantly lower versus the previous year.

PMID:34671821 | DOI:10.1007/s00247-021-05213-6