Transpl Int, 17 March 2022

Reply To—Gender Distribution Among Transplant Journal Editorial Members

  • 1Ramsay Health Care, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • 2Department of Visceral, Transplant and Thoracic Surgery, Center of Operative Medicine, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 3Donation and Coordination Section, Hospital Clinic, Department of Surgery and Surgical Specializations, Faculty of Medicine, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • 4Abdominal Center Unit, Nephrology, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland

A Forum discussing:
Gender Distribution Among Transplant Journal Editorial Members: A Call to Empower Women in Academic Medicine

by Lim, WH, Quek, J, Tay, PWL, Ng, CH, Vathsala, A, and Muthiah, MD. (2021) Transpl Int 34(11):2897–8. doi: 10.1111/TRI.14117

Dear Editors,

We read with interest the recent publication in Transplant International by Lim et al. (1) on the gender ratios of professionals on the editorial boards of transplant scientific journals. The authors provide summary data for the ratios of men versus women for the editorial boards plus associate editors positions of 29 journals sourced via Scimago. They demonstrated that there is a disparity in the gender ratios for these particular positions. No other specific information is provided about these particular journals bar one.

This is an important issue because it has become evident that there is a degree of gender disparity for all of the listed editorial-type positions across a range of top medical and surgical journals published around the world (24).

We wonder whether Lim et al may have analysed website information for both cellular and solid organ transplantation journals (1). By examining the websites of the 45 “transplant” journals currently listed via Scimago, we discovered that 10 were no longer being published, 6 were not published in English, 4 had a focus on cellular therapies only, 2 were directed at a non-medical audience and 1 had the Chief Editor only listed. This left us with 22 potential solid organ transplant journals in comparison to the 29 found by Lim et al. This raises the question of whether there has been some inadvertent introduction of additional variance into their results due to a lack of uniformity of the journals that they selected.

It is now known that there is a reasonable amount of variation between medical and surgical journals as to how many females are either associate editors or chief editors, which ranges in reports from 0 to 82% (26), with concern being expressed over the lack of gender equity for the top tier positions. With the summary data as reported by Lim et al being broken down into quartiles this does not allow for any further understanding to be gained by the reader as to where the variance exactly lies between all of the transplant journals for the full range of listed editorial positions.

A preliminary analysis of the Chief Editors of the 22 journals we located revealed that 4/22 (18%) are female compared to 32.3% of the associate editors of the 29 journals obtained by Lim et al. There is also a range of second tier editorial positions listed for transplant journals including Deputy editors, associate editors, editors and scientific editors, which are potentially the pool of individuals all designated as associate editors by Lim et al. The discrimination of the gender distribution in a full range of editorial positions we identified is shown in Figure 1. Noteworthy, 7 out of 22 journals (32%) do not have women in the top tier positions along with the 1 journal with all-men in the editorial board.


FIGURE 1. Number and percentage of female representation in 22 transplant journals (Transplantation, Am J Transpl, Neph Dial Transpl, Liver Transplantation, JHLT, Trans Proc, Transpl Int, Clinical Transpl, Paediatric Transpl, Transpl Infect Disease, Transpl Immunology, Xenotransplantation, Current Opin Organ Transpl, Transplantation Reviews, Annals of Transpl, Saudi J Kid Disease Transpl, Experimental Clin Transpl, Transpl Direct, Transpl Research Risk Management, Turkish Nephrology Dialysis Transpl J, Transplantation Reports, Cell and organ Transplantology).

Nevertheless, we agree with Lim et al. that there are discrepancies in the gender ratios which have implications for corrective actions (7), noting that some transplant journals are already adopting specific measures (8).

Data Availability Statement

The raw data supporting the conclusion of this article will be made available by the authors, without undue reservation.

Author Contributions

DV conceived the response and undertook the initial data analysis followed by assisting with drafting of the manuscipt. AW assisted with interpreting the data and drafting of the manuscript. DP-Z provided critical insights with respect to the drafting of the manuscript. FO assisted with interpreting the data, assisted with data visualization as well as drafting of the manuscript.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.


1. Lim, WH, Quek, J, Tay, PWL, Ng, CH, Vathsala, A, and Muthiah, MD. Gender Distribution Among Transplant Journal Editorial Members: A Call to Empower Women in Academic Medicine. Transpl Int (2021) 34:2897–8. doi:10.1111/TRI.14117

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

2. Pinho-Gomes, A-C, Vassallo, A, Thompson, K, Womersley, K, Norton, R, and Woodward, M. Representation of Women Among Editors in Chief of Leading Medical Journals. JAMA Netw Open (2021) 4(9):e2123026. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.23026

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

3. Ehrlich, H, Nguyen, J, Sutherland, M, Ali, A, Gill, S, McKenney, M, et al. Gender Distribution Among Surgical Journals' Editorial Boards: Empowering Women Surgeon Scientists. Surgery (2021) 169:1346–51. doi:10.1016/j.surg.2020.12.026

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

4. Picciariello, A, Altomare, DF, Gallo, G, and Grossi, U. Gender Distribution in the Editorial Boards of Surgical Journals: A Snapshot from Western Europe. Surgery (2021) 170(4):1292. (In press). doi:10.1016/j.surg.2021.07.006

CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

5. Silver, JK. Gender Equity on Journal Editorial Boards. The Lancet (2019) 393:2037–8. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(19)31042-6

CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

7. Mousa, M, Boyle, J, Skouteris, H, Mullins, AK, Currie, G, Riach, K, et al. Advancing Women in Healthcare Leadership: A Systematic Review and Meta-Synthesis of Multi-Sector Evidence on Organisational Interventions. EclinicalMedicine (2021) 39:101084. doi:10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101084

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

8. Berney, T, Montserrat, N, Naesens, M, Schneeberger, S, Bellini, MI, and Neyens, T. Editorial: Changing of the Guard at Transplant International. Transpl Int (2021) 34(4):609. doi:10.1111/tri.13843

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

Keywords: gender, equity, transplant, journals, editors, data

Citation: Verran D, Weissenbacher A, Paredes-Zapata D and Ortiz F (2022) Reply To—Gender Distribution Among Transplant Journal Editorial Members. Transpl Int 35:10262. doi: 10.3389/ti.2022.10262

Received: 24 November 2021; Accepted: 18 January 2022;
Published: 17 March 2022.

Copyright © 2022 Verran, Weissenbacher, Paredes-Zapata and Ortiz. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Deborah Verran,