Journal of Angiology & Vascular Surgery Category: Medical Type: Commentary

Analysis of Proportion of Female Editors-in-Chief in Major Immunology Medical Journals

Dave M Mathew1, Serena Mathew1, Kathryn S Varghese1, Peter Fusco1, Sarah Ahmed1, Roshan Pandey1, Christopher Mathew1, Jerrin George2, Ayman K Awad3, Ahmed K Awad3 and Adham Ahmed1*
1 City University of New York (CUNY) School of Medicine, New York, United states
2 University of toledo college of medicine and life sciences, Toledo, OH, United states
3 Faculty of medicine ain shams university, Cairo, Egypt

*Corresponding Author(s):
Adham Ahmed
City University Of New York (CUNY) School Of Medicine, New York, United States
Tel:+1 3473029352,

Received Date: Oct 21, 2022
Accepted Date: Nov 01, 2022
Published Date: Nov 08, 2022


Editors-in-chief (EIC) of medical journals have the paramount responsibility of directing the dissemination of peer-reviewed medical information and influencing contemporary clinical practices. While previous literature has assessed gender differences in the allergy and immunology physician workforce [1], the percentage of female EICs leading immunology medical journals remains unknown. In this cross-sectional study, we ascertained the proportion of high-impact immunology medical journals with female EICs and whether there was an association between impact factor and EIC gender.


Journals listed on the Clarivate Web of Science 2020 Journal Citations Report (JCR) [2], were searched applying the immunology filter. All immunology journals listed on the 2020 JCR were included (Table 1). EICs were identified using each journal’s official website. For our analysis, we considered an EIC to be the officially listed “editor-in-chief”, “chief editor”, “executive editor”, or “managing editor” of each journal.  For each journal, we recorded the journal name, impact factor, and EIC names. For each EIC, we recorded their gender and professional degree. Adopting the previous methodology [3], gender was classified as male or female and was elucidated based on their name and accompanying profile pictureand biography on the journal website, when available. When profile pictures were unavailable, EIC gender was determined using a readily available online Application Programming Interface (API) [4,5]. Adapting the previous methodology [6], EIC professional degree was identified from the journal website when provided or through the EIC’s uploaded curriculum vitae or LinkedIn profile [7] (Figure 1).


Overall, n (%)

Number of journalsa

177 (100.0)

Impact factor, median (IQR)

4.092 (2.829 – 6.303)

Number of journals with a singular editor-in-chief

136 (76.8)

Number of journals with >1 editor-in-chief

41 (23.2)

Number of journals with at least one female editor-in-chief

34 (19.2)

Number of journal editor-in-chiefs

227 (100.0)

Professional degree of editor-in-chief


·                     MD, only

72 (31.7)

·                     PhD, only

91 (40.1)

·                     MD, PhD

37 (16.3)

Gender of editor-in-chief*


·                     Male

188 (82.8)

·                     Female

39 (17.2)

Table 1 : Characteristics of the included medical journals and editors-in-chief.

aThere was no significant difference between mean impact factors of immunology journals with male editors-in-chief and immunology journals with female editors-in-chief on independent-samples Mann-Whitney U test, P=0.78.

 Figure 1. Female representation of editors-in-chief of immunology medical journals listed on 2020 Clarivate Web of Science 2020 Journal Citations Report. 

Threeauthors (SA, SM and & RP) independently obtained the data, with disagreements resolved by the senior author (AA). Categorical variables were reported as counts and percentages, and continuous variables as medians with Interquartile Range (IQR) after assessing for normality. Independent-samples Mann-Whitney U test was used to find associations between journal impact factor and EIC gender. A 2-tailed P < .05 was considered statistically significant for all conducted analyses. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS software version 27(IBM, Chicago, IL, USA).


We identified 177 immunology medical journals; of these, 136(76.8%) had a single EIC and 41 (23.2%) had more than one EIC yielding a sample size of 227 EICs. The median impact factor was 4.092 (IQR 2.829-6.303). 34(19.2%) of the journals had at least one female EIC. Of the 227 EICs, 72(31.7%) had an MD degree, 91(40.1%) had a Ph.D. degree, and 37(16.3%) had an MD/Ph.D. 39(17.2%) of the EICs were females and 188(82.8%) were males. There was no significant difference in journal impact factor between male and female EICs (p=0.78).


To our knowledge, this is the first study to comprehensively assess the association between the impact factor of immunology medical journals and EIC gender. We found that only 17.2% of EICs of immunology medical journals were female. In our analysis, the impact factor of a journal did not influence the gender of the EIC. 

Our study has limitations.Only immunology medical journals listed in the 2020 JCR rankingwere included for analysis and our results may not be an accurate representation for all immunology journals. Additionally, we could not account for any errors in the 2020 JCR rankings. Finally, our study categorized gender as male or female and we were unable to capture alternative EIC gender or sexual identities. 

In the past, a great deal of controversy has been directed towards the lack of gender representation on journal editorial boards [8]. The disparity between the number of male and female EICs leading high-impact immunology medical journals is a point of concern, particularly when considering that the content published in these journals may influence clinical practices at both a domestic and international level. As women continue to be increasingly represented at the highest levels of medicine [9], immunology medical journals may consider seeking more qualified female experts to lead their editorial boards and improve representation.


Citation: Mathew DM, Mathew S, Varghese KS, Fusco P, Ahmed S, et al. (2022) Analysis of Proportion of Female Editors-in-Chief in Major Immunology Medical Journals. J Angiol Vasc Surg 7: 099.

Copyright: © 2022  Dave M Mathew, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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