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21st century gender trends of authorship in the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

      Abstract

      Despite forming the majority in undergraduate medicine and dentistry programmes, females remain under-represented in all surgical specialties, including oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS). Efforts are ongoing to promote female uptake in surgery. Research output is a key metric in measuring leadership and academic advancement within a specialty. The aim of this study was to assess female authorship in research published in the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery from 2000-2020 with a retrospective cohort study of original articles and reviews published in the journal from five different volumes of the journal (2000, 2005, 2010, 2015, 2020 as representative time points). The gender of the first and last authors were assessed for gender by first name recognition and verified with a web-search of the author using their stated institutional affiliation when this was not clear. Articles were excluded if the gender of one of the first or last author could not be determined. A total of 501 articles were included with the gender of 1002 authors analysed. 173 (17.3%) authors were female, and 828 (82.7%) were male. The most common author combination was male-male (70.3%) and the least common female-female (4.8%). The proportion of female authors increased over time from 9.3% in 2000 to 23.4% in 2020. Females remain under-represented within surgery, but female presence in academic output is increasing at a similar rate to the numbers of female uptake in the clinical workforce which is a promising sign and indicative of progress towards gender parity.

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