Historical gender gap in the authorship of the most impacted general nursing journals: a cohort descriptive study. Historical gender gap in nursing literature

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Elsa Vitale
Francesca Di Dio


Authorship, Gender Role, Nursing, Nursing History


Introduction: Gender differentiators in the academic world are characterized by a disparity between men and women in their scientific production, as men are more favored in this area than women. The aim of the research is to evaluate any gender differences in nursing scientific production between journals in the sector with an important impact factor.

Materials and Methods: The Web of Science (WoS) citation database was used to select the journals based on the impact factor and the publications of the last 5 years whose data are available, such as from 2014 to 2018. General nursing journals, in the WoS database, with an Impact Factor greater than 2 and published in English language were included in this research.

Results: The general nursing journals with an impact factor greater than 2 in 2018 identified in our study are: International journal of Nursing Studies, Journal of Advanced Nursing, Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Nurse Education Today, Nursing Outlook, Nursing Research, Worldviews on Evidence Based Nursing. In total, 2889 names of first authors were recorded in the reference years from 2014 to 2018. Of these 83.7% are female and the remaining 16.3% are male.

Conclusion: From our data it emerges how nursing turns out to be against the trend in the field of scientific productivity compared to other disciplines. This counter tendency has its origins in the history of nursing which has always been conceived as an all-female discipline, although history has taught us how several male nurses have made their important contribution in the history of nursing.


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