Long-Term Analysis of Sex Differences in Prestigious Authorships


Women remain underrepresented on life science faculties in general, and on cardiovascular research faculties in particular. Whether differences in prestigious authorships contribute to this gender gap remains unclear. We analyzed 63,636 authorships on NIH-R01-supported articles across 107 cardiovascular journals indexed in PubMed to estimate the relative risk (RR) of first and last authorship for women relative to men. We analyzed how the RR varied over 30 years, focusing on studies in cardiovascular research, but we also extended our analysis to 2,699,061 authorships on R01-supported articles across 3,849 journals indexed in PubMed and sub-analyzed the RR for journals of different impact.

Circulation Research Letter

Online Supplement to Circulation Research Letter

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Women more likely than men to earn first authorships across NIH Institutes; probability of transition to last author varies:


Relative risk (RR) of prestigious authorship by area of research (approximated by supporting NIH Institutes). The black dotted vertical lines mark the point of equal gender probabilities in prestigious authorship. The grey dashed vertical lines represent the arithmetic average RR across areas of research. Dots represent the RR point estimate and bars represent the 95% binomial ratio confidence intervals. Colors represent terciles of the average 5-year JIF by research area, with red indicating bottom third, black middle third, and green indicating top third of research areas.

NIH Institute abbreviations: AA (Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism); AG (Aging); AI (Allergy and Infectious Diseases); AR (Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases); AT (Complementary and Integrative Health); CA (Cancer); DA (Drug Abuse); DC (Deafness and Other Communication Disorders); DE (Dental & Craniofacial Research); DK (Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases); EB (Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering); ES (Environmental Health Sciences); EY (Eye); GM (General Medical Sciences); HD (Child Health and Human Development); HG (Human Genome Research); HL (Heart, Lung, and Blood); MD (Minority Health and Health Disparities); MH (Mental Health); NR (Nursing Research); NS (Neurological Disorders and Stroke)



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