J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2019 Apr 4. Epub 2019 Apr 4.
Department of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Respiratory Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Electronic address:
Background: Disparities in the frequency of publications by gender have been reported in various medical subspecialties.
Objective: Review author gender in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology from 1997 to 2017.
Methods: Data on frequency and patterns of authorship by gender were collected in 5-year intervals and analyzed by journal, article type, and year of publication. Logistic regression was used to analyze factors associated with a greater likelihood of first authors being women. We compared these patterns with the frequency of women AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology) members and AAAAI fellows-in-training.
Results: Women were first authors in 36.5% of publications, increasing from 26.6% in 1997 to 48.1% in 2017 (P < .001). Their share as first author was highest (42.5%) for original articles and lowest (17.1%) for editorials. Share of women as last authors increased from 18.1% in 1997 to 30.9% in 2017 (P = .001). Women were less likely to be sole authors: 17.7% (P < .001). Articles with women as first authors were observed more frequently when women were last authors (odds ratio [OR], 3.14; P < .0001). This association was more likely in original investigations (OR, 2.1; P < .001) and articles published more recently (2007, 2012, 2017) (OR, 1.75; P < .001). The increasing rate of women first authors correlated with rising proportions of women AAAAI members (Pearson correlation = 0.96; P = .01) and fellows-in-training (Pearson correlation = 0.96; P < .01).
Conclusions: Women authorship has become more frequent in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The probability of women being first authors is more likely in articles with women as last authors, implying that mentorship of women by women may encourage women to become more active in scholarship.