Factors affecting sex-related reporting in medical research: A cross-disciplinary bibliometric analysis

Clinical and preclinical studies have shown that there are sex-based differences at the genetic, cellular, biochemical, and physiological levels. Despite this, numerous studies have shown poor levels of inclusion of female populations into medical research. These disparities in sex inclusion in research are further complicated by the absence of sufficient reporting and analysis by sex of study populations. Disparities in the inclusion of the sexes in medical research substantially reduce the utility of the results of such research for the entire population. The absence of sex-related reporting are problematical for the translation of research from the preclinical to clinical and applied health settings. Large-scale studies are needed to identify the extent of sex-related reporting and where disparities are more prevalent. In addition, while several studies have shown the dearth of female researchers in science, few have evaluated whether a scarcity of women in science might be related to disparities in sex inclusion and reporting. We aimed to do a cross-disciplinary analysis of the degree of sex-related reporting across the health sciences—from biomedical, to clinical, and public health research—and the role of author gender in sex-related reporting.

This content has been updated on 11 July 2019 at 15 h 28 min.