Research Papers:

Gendermetrics of cancer research: results from a global analysis on prostate cancer

Michael H.K. Bendels _, Alecsandru M. Costrut, Norman Schöffel, Dörthe Brüggmann and David A. Groneberg

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:19640-19649. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24716

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Michael H.K. Bendels1, Alecsandru M. Costrut1, Norman Schöffel1, Dörthe Brüggmann1,2 and David A. Groneberg1

1Division of Computational Medicine, The Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany

2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Correspondence to:

Michael H.K. Bendels, email: [email protected]

Keywords: sex; bibliometry; authorship; citation; productivity

Received: October 05, 2017     Accepted: February 22, 2018     Published: April 13, 2018


Background: The present study aims to elucidate the success concerning gender equality in cancer research in the last decade (from 2008 to 2017) with prostate cancer as the target parameter.

Results: 31.7% of all authorships and 36.3% of the first, 32.5% of the co- and 22.6% of the last authorships were held by women. The corresponding female-to-male odds ratio is 1.26 (CI: 1.22–1.30) for first, 1.15 (CI: 1.12–1.18) for co- and 0.59 (CI: 0.57–0.62) for last authorships. The annual growth rates are 0.6% overall and 0.9% for first, 0.2% for co-authorships, and 2.8% for last authorships. Women are slightly underrepresented at prestigious authorships compared to men. The female underrepresentation accentuates in articles with many authors that attract the highest citation rates. Multi-author articles with male key authors are more frequently cited. Men publish more articles compared to women (61.8% male authors are responsible for 68.3% of the authorships) and are overrepresented at productivity levels of more than 1 article per author. Major regional differences were found with best female odds in Sweden, Brazil, and Austria. The prognosis for the next decade forecasts a harmonization of authorship odds.

Conclusion: Prostate cancer research is characterized by a career dichotomy with few women in academic leadership positions and many female early career researchers. This career dichotomy has been narrowed in the last decade and will likely be further reduced in the future.

Methods: On the basis of the Gendermetrics Platform, a total of 26,234 articles related to prostate cancer research were analyzed.

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