Female representation on emergency medicine editorial teams

Eur J Emerg Med. 2010 Apr;17(2):84-8. doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e32832e98f7.


Objective: To analyse the presence of women on the editorial teams of emergency medicine journals and the potential relationship between the pre-eminence of the journal and their presence.

Materials and methods: In this cross-sectional study, we examined 10 journals cited under the heading of 'Emergency Medicine' by Thomson Scientific in the Journal Citation Reports and 14 additional emergency journals not cited but which publish investigations in emergency medicine. We evaluated the editorial board posted on their websites, determining the number of men and women occupying executive tasks, as well as the sex of the editor-in-chief of each journal.

Results: We identified 372 people working on the editorial teams (mean: 15.5, SD: 13.5), 49 being women (13.2%). Of these 372 people, 28 were editors-in-chief but only one was female (3.6%). We found no statistical differences between indexed and nonindexed emergency journals regarding female representation on the editorial team or in the position of editor-in-chief. Neither did we find any relationship between female presence and the pre-eminence of the indexed journals using impact factor as a surrogate marker.

Conclusion: Very few women are found either on editorial teams or in editor-in-chief positions in the emergency medicine journals, irrespective of the pre-eminence of the journal. It should be investigated whether a negative journal bias underlies these findings.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Editorial Policies*
  • Emergency Medical Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Periodicals as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prejudice*
  • Publishing
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Justice*
  • United States