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The evolving gender distribution in authorship over time in American surgery

      Highlights

      • Publications by female surgeons have increased over time, paralleling the increase in female representation in surgery.
      • The gender publication gap is narrowing but is still a persistent issue in surgery.
      • Gender diversity is crucial to scientific discovery.

      Abstract

      Background

      The need for gender parity within academic surgery has resulted in an analysis of the trends in female authorship in the American general surgery literature.

      Methods

      Original articles from five American surgical journals from 1997, 2007, and 2017 were reviewed. Trends in the proportion of female authors were evaluated.

      Results

      There was an incremental increase in female first authors over the three time periods (15% in 1997, 32.2% in 2007, and 52.7% in 2017; P < 0.001). The proportion of articles by female senior authors also increased over the study periods (18.7% in 1997, 28.8% in 2007, and 52.6% in 2017; P < 0.001). However, there were fewer female authors with basic science research publications than males (17.4% vs. 82.6%, P < 0.001).

      Conclusions

      The academic productivity of female surgeons have increased over time likely due to an increase in the number of female academic surgeons in recent years. These findings are encouraging and demonstrate progress in female representation in surgery.
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