Gender and editorial authorship in high-impact epidemiology journals

Riaz Qureshi, Jimmy Lê, Tianjing Li, Michel Ibrahim, Kay Dickersin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Women comprise about half of senior epidemiologists, but little is known about whether they are also viewed as leaders (i.e., authorities) in the field. We believe editorial roles are markers of leadership in a field. Our objective was to describe the distribution of gender across authorship of editorials published in 5 high-impact epidemiology journals over the past 8 years. We included editorials and commentaries published in American Journal of Epidemiology, European Journal of Epidemiology, Epidemiology, International Journal of Epidemiology, and Journal of Clinical Epidemiology between 2010 and 2017. We classified genders of all authors as woman, man, or unknown and computed the proportions of women editorial authors over all journals and according to position (e.g., first author). Only 31% (682/2,228) of all editorial authors and 36% (524/1,477) of unique editorial authors (i.e., counting each editorial author name only once) were women. We identified 1,180 editorials; 594 had sole authors, 24% (141/594) of whom were women, and 586 had 2 or more authors, 31% (184/586) of which had women as first authors. If women are underrepresented as editorial authors across epidemiology journals (e.g., as a marker of epidemiology leadership), the situation merits immediate correction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2140-2145
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 31 2019


  • authority
  • editorial authorship
  • equality
  • gender
  • leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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