Authorship diversity among systematic reviews in eyes and vision

Riaz Qureshi, Genie Han, Kolade Fapohunda, Samuel Abariga, Renee Wilson, Tianjing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance: The inclusion of authors from diverse backgrounds and with different lived experiences is critical to ensuring the questions addressed in systematic reviews (SRs), as well as the subsequent conclusions and recommendations made, are representative of the global community. Objective: To assess the gender and geographic diversity of authors among all Cochrane SRs in eyes and vision as compared with a random sample of non-Cochrane SRs of interventions in the field of eyes and vision. Design: The Cochrane Eyes and Vision US Satellite maintains a database of SRs in the field of eyes and vision. We selected all (n = 313) eyes and vision intervention SRs published in The Cochrane Library and a random sample of 313 eyes and vision intervention SRs published elsewhere for this study. We determined gender of the first and corresponding authors ("woman,""man,"or "unknown") using a previously developed algorithm and their location based on institution country and the World Health Organization region. Results: From the 626 reviews included in our sample, we identified 751 unique authors who comprised 887 author positions (i.e., first and/or corresponding authors). We were able to ascertain the gender of 647/751 (86%) authors: 276 women and 371 men. Among Cochrane eyes and vision SRs, the proportions of women in first and/or corresponding author positions were consistent and approximately equal to men. Among non-Cochrane eyes and vision SRs, the representation of women was markedly lower as corresponding authors than other positions. Most authors of Cochrane eyes and vision SRs were from the UK (31%) and USA (26%), whereas most authors of non-Cochrane SRs were from China (34%). Conclusions and relevance: Compared with authors of non-Cochrane SRs in eyes and vision, authors of Cochrane SRs appear to have approximately equal representation of women and men among perceived important author positions and be located in European and North American countries, possibly due to the locations of the Cochrane editorial teams. Cochrane Eyes and Vision should continue to recruit authors from around the world in locations that reflect the global burden of eye disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number192
JournalSystematic reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 27 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Authorship
  • Diversity
  • Equity
  • Eyes
  • Gender
  • Geography
  • Systematic reviews
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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