Association between Sex Composition and Publication Productivity of Journal Editorial and Professional Society Board Members in Ophthalmology

Mona L. Camacci, Amy Lu, Erik B. Lehman, Ingrid U. Scott, Ingrid U. Scott, Esther Bowie, Seth M. Pantanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Importance: Because women remain underrepresented in leadership positions in medicine, including ophthalmology, knowledge of sex composition of ophthalmic journal editorial and professional society boards seems warranted. Objectives: To investigate the sex composition of ophthalmic journal editorial and professional society boards and compare the publication productivity and number of citations of male vs female board members. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this cross-sectional study, the SCImago Journal Rank indicator was used to identify the 20 highest-ranked ophthalmology journals. Faculty members from each ophthalmic subspecialty were surveyed within a US academic ophthalmology department to identify 15 influential ophthalmology societies. The 2018 board members of each journal and society were identified from the journals' and societies' official websites, and the sex of each individual was recorded. Information regarding journals and societies was collected from October 1 to December 31, 2018. The Scopus database was accessed in January 2019 and then used to find each member's h-index and m-quotient. Main Outcomes and Measures: The h-index, defined as the highest number of an author's publications that received at least h number of citations, was calculated for each board member. The m-quotient, which accounts for varying lengths of academic careers, was calculated by dividing the h-index by the number of years since first publication. Results: Of the 1077 members of ophthalmic journal editorial and society leadership boards, 797 (74.0%) were men and 280 (26.0%) were women. Among the 24 editors in chief of the 20 journals investigated, 23 (95.8%) were male. Thirteen of the 15 professional society presidents (86.7%) were men. Male board members had significantly higher median h-indexes (male vs female journals: 34 [interquartile range {IQR}, 23-47] vs 28 [IQR, 19-40], P <.001; male vs female societies: 27 [IQR, 15-41] vs 17 [IQR, 8-32], P =.006), median publication numbers (male vs female journal board members: 157 [IQR, 88-254] vs 109 [IQR, 66-188], P <.001; male vs female society board members: 109 [IQR, 57-190] vs 58 [IQR, 28-139, P =.001), and median citations (male vs female journal board members: 4027 [IQR, 1897-8005] vs 2871 [IQR, 1344-5852], P <.001; male vs female society board members: 2228 [IQR, 1005-5069] vs 1090 [IQR, 410-2527], P =.003). However, the median m-quotients for male and female board members were comparable (male vs female journal board members: 1.2 [IQR, 0.8-1.6] vs 1.1 [IQR, 0.8-1.5], P =.54; male vs female society board members: 1.0 [IQR, 0.7-1.4] vs 0.9 [IQR, 0.6-1.3], P =.32). Conclusions and Relevance: The findings suggest that the sex composition on journal editorial and professional society boards in ophthalmology is consistent with the sex composition of ophthalmologists in the US, as reported by the Association of American Colleges, but that editor in chief and society president positions are male dominated despite the apparent equality in academic productivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-458
Number of pages8
JournalJAMA Ophthalmology
Volume138
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology

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