COVID-19 medical papers have fewer women first authors than expected -

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments have shuttered schools and implemented social distancing requirements that limit options for childcare, while simultaneously requiring researchers to work from home. Some have argued that the authorship gender gap in academic medicine is best explained by a slow pipeline and the historical exclusion of women from medical school enrolment (Association of American Medical Colleges, 2019). However, as time has passed, and women have reached parity in the United States and even begun to constitute the majority of the medical student body in many other countries, their persistently low participation as authors has raised concerns about bias in unblinded peer review processes and unequal opportunities prior to manuscript submission. Studies have demonstrated differences in the language used by men and women to describe their research findings, and evidence from the field of economics suggests that women’s writing may be held to higher standards.

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