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Where are female editors from low-income and middle-income countries? A comprehensive assessment of gender, geographical distribution and country’s income group of editorial boards of top-ranked rehabilitation and sports science journals
  1. Aamir Raoof Memon1,
  2. Ishtiaq Ahmed2,
  3. Nabiha Ghaffar3,
  4. Kainat Ahmed1,
  5. Iqra Sadiq1
  1. 1Institute of Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Sciences, Peoples University of Medical and Health Sciences for Women, Nawabshah (Shaheed Benazirabad), Sindh, Pakistan
  2. 2Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Institute of Graduate Studies, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey
  3. 3Department of Human & Rehabilitation Sciences, Begum Nusrat Bhutto Women University, Sukkur, Sindh, Pakistan
  1. Correspondence to Aamir Raoof Memon, Institute of Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Sciences, Peoples University of Medical and Health Sciences for Women, Nawabshah (Shaheed Benazirabad), Sindh, Pakistan; memon.aamir.raoof{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Objective We aimed to examine the gender, geographical region and income group of the country of affiliation for editorial leadership (eg, editor-in-chief, section editor, associate editor) and advisors (eg, editorial board members) in top-ranked rehabilitation and sports science journals.

Methods A list of Scopus indexed, Q1 (25% top) rehabilitation and sports science journals, available under four different journal categories, was prepared based on the data from the Scientific Journal Rankings (SJR) website. The information for editorial leadership and advisors for these journals was obtained and their gender was determined through a multistep process. The country of affiliation of editorial leadership and advisors was used to categorise them to World Bank’s different geographical regions and income groups (for countries).

Results There were 7248 editors (35.7% leadership and 64.3% advisors) across 113 rehabilitation and sports science journals. Of all editors, 1792 (24.7%) were women. Women represented 24.5% of editorial leadership positions, 24.8% of advisory roles and 10.4% of editors-in-chief. Editors from South Asia (0.5%) and sub-Saharan Africa (0.6%) had the least representation, while those affiliated with institutions from high-income countries represented 93.5% of leadership roles and 93.1% of advisory positions. Moreover, editors affiliated with institutions from North America occupied almost half of all editorial roles.

Conclusions Women and researchers affiliated with institutions from low-income and middle-income countries are under-represented on the editorial boards of top-ranked rehabilitation and sports science journals indexed in the Scopus database. Editors are responsible for promoting research in their specific field, and therefore, the current leadership in rehabilitation and sports science journals should consider diversifying their editorial boards by providing equitable opportunities to women and researchers from a broader geographical distribution.

  • female
  • rehabilitation
  • sports medicine
  • work-life balance
  • women in sport

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @DptAamir

  • Contributors ARM contributed to study conceptualisation, data analysis and interpretation, and write-up and revision of the manuscript. IA contributed to data entry, data analysis and interpretation, and revision of the manuscript. NG contributed to data entry and revision of the manuscript. KT contributed to data entry and revision of the manuscript. IS contributed to data entry and revision of the manuscript. All authors read the final draft of the manuscript and gave approval for its submission or publication.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.