The rates of change are so slow that it will take decades if not centuries for female, Hispanic, and Black researchers to catch up.
A fresh look at the diversity of authors whose work is published in the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA shows little progress—and some setbacks—over the past few decades when it comes to sex and race/ethnicity.
The report, published recently in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, tracked shifts in first and senior authorship from 1990 to 2020.
The rates of change are so slow that it will take decades if not centuries for female, Hispanic, and Black researchers to catch up. “Such underrepresentation and stagnation suggest that more work is needed before gender and racial equity is achieved in publishing in high-impact medical journals,” Moustafa Abdalla, PhD (Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, and University of Oxford, England), and colleagues write.
Speaking with TCTMD, Abdalla said this work relied on a searchable database that was originally created for another purpose: to study the history of medicine. They had compiled nearly half a million artic
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