Article Factors Influencing Gender Disparities in Senior Authorship of Plastic Surgery Publications

Ledibabari Mildred Ngaage, Mimi R. Borrelli, Suvethavarshini Ketheeswaran, Jaimie T. Shores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Female plastic surgeons publish fewer and lower impact articles. To better understand how to address this gender gap, we explored the temporal trends in female senior authorship and evaluated predictive factors for female senior authorship. Methods: A retrospective review of articles published in the 3 highest impact plastic surgery journals published from2010 to 2020 was conducted. Trendswith female senior authorship across time were analyzed with respect to study type, subspeciality, and geographical origin. Results: Of the 5425 articles included, 13%(n = 720) had a female senior author, and female senior authorship increased across time (R = 0.84, P = 0.033). Over the decade, an increased proportion of cohort studies (R = 0.82, P = 0.045), systematic reviews (R = 0.96, P = 0.003), breast-related articles (R = 0.88, P = 0.022), and reconstruction-related articles (R = 0.83, P = 0.039) were published by female senior authors. Subspecialty and geography predicted female senior authorship; articles focused on aesthetic (odds ratio [OR] = 1.3, P = 0.046) and breast (OR = 1.7, P < 0.001) subspecialties or those originating from Canada (OR = 1.7 P = 0.019), Europe (OR = 1.5, P < 0.001), and Latin America (OR = 3.0, P < 0.001) were more likely to have a female senior author. Articles from East Asia were less likely to have female senior authors (OR = 0.7, P = 0.005). Conclusion: Female senior authorship in plastic surgery has increased over the last decade, and the proportion of female plastic surgeons leading cohort studies and systematic reviews is increasing. Sex of the senior author is influenced by plastic surgery subspecialty and geographical origin, but article type did not impact the odds of female senior authorship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-643
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2023


  • academic plastic surgeon
  • female
  • male
  • publications
  • sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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