B – Gender bias in medical publication

Heckenberg A, Druml C. Gender aspects in medical publication – the Wiener klinische Wochenschrift. Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift 2010;122:141-145.

Worldwide, about 50% of students starting medical school are female but a much lower proportion reach leading positions. Looking at manuscripts submitted to the journal Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift from 2002 to 2007, the number of female authors increased to 30% by 2007 (up to 50% in some specialties). However, review papers or invited editorials are rarely authored by female researchers. Furthermore, a small percentage of peer reviewers are female although the quality of their reviews is generally better. Medical journals should play their part in eliminating these gender inequalities.