Background: Researchers from the developing world contribute only a limited proportion to the total research output published in leading medical education journals. Some of them believe that there is a substantial editorial bias against their work. To obtain an objective basis for further discussion the present study was designed to assess the composition of the editorial boards of leading medical education journals.
Methods: The editorial boards of the three leading medical education journals according to their impact factor were retrieved from the respective January issue of the year 2003. We evaluated in which countries the editorial board members were based and classified these countries using the World Bank income criteria.
Results: Individuals from a number of countries can be found on the editorial boards of the investigated journals, but most of them are based in high-income countries.
Conclusion: The percentage of editorial board members which are based in developing world countries is higher for the leading medical education journals than in most of their psychiatry and general medicine counterparts. But it is still too low.