Meta-Research: Is Covid-19 Amplifying the Authorship Gender Gap in the Medical Literature?

by   Jens Peter Andersen, et al.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected work and family life for many, including academic researchers. Anecdotal evidence suggests that university shutdowns have influenced the article submission rates of men and women differently. Here we present a timely analysis that compares the proportion of men and women medical researchers publishing on the coronavirus to those publishing in the same journals in 2019. This is presently the most direct means of gauging gender variations in ongoing research activities. For clarity of context, we delimit our analysis to researchers in the United States. Using mixed-effects regression models, we estimate that women's shares of first authorships, last authorships and general representation per author group are 23 lower for COVID-19 papers compared to 2019 papers published in the same journals. Our findings are consistent with the idea that the current pandemic might take the greatest toll on the research productivity of early-career women.



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