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25.02.2019 | Reports of Original Investigations | Ausgabe 5/2019

Canadian Journal of Anesthesia/Journal canadien d'anesthésie 5/2019

Representation of female authors in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia: a retrospective analysis of articles between 1954 and 2017

Canadian Journal of Anesthesia/Journal canadien d'anesthésie > Ausgabe 5/2019
MD, FRCPC Alana M. Flexman, BHSc(c) Arun Parmar, BSc, MD, MSc (Med Ed), CIP, FRCPC Gianni R. Lorello
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12630-019-01328-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
This article is accompanied by an editorial. Please see Can J Anesth 2019; 66: this issue.

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Females remain under-represented in academic anesthesiology. Our objectives were to investigate gender differences over time in the first and last authors of published articles as well as corresponding citation rates in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia (CJA).


We conducted a cross-sectional, retrospective analysis of first and last authors’ gender from editorials and original articles published in the CJA in a sample of one calendar year of each decade between 1954 to 2017. We analyzed the relationships between author gender, year of publication, article type, and number of citations.


Out of 639 articles identified, 542 (85%) were original investigations and 97 (15%) were editorials. Where gender could be confidently identified, the majority (461/571, 81%) of first authors were male. Although there was an increase in the proportion of female first authors over time, this increase was outpaced by the overall increase in female anesthesiologists in Canada. Original articles received more citations and were more likely to have a female first author than editorial articles were. An original article with a female first author resulted in 0.34 (95% confidence interval, 0.28 to 0.39; P < 0.001) more citations per article than a male first author when adjusting for year of publication.


Our study shows that, despite a slow increase over time, female authors are under-represented relative to male authors in the CJA and relative to the changing demographics of anesthesiologists in Canada. The reasons for this disparity are multifactorial and further research is needed to identify effective solutions.

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