To date, no data exist on gender-related publication biases in nephrology. This study was conducted to determine whether gender differences exist in the current literature published in high-ranking US nephrology journals, and how they may have changed over time.
The PubMed search was performed using the easyPubMed package in R, which extracted all articles indexed in PubMed from 2011 to 2021 from the US nephrology journals with the highest impact factors, i.e., Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), American Journal of Nephrology (AJN), American Journal of Kidney diseases (AJKD), and the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). Gender with predictions > 90% were accepted and the remaining were manually identified. Descriptive statistical analysis was carried out on the data.
We identified 11,608 articles. On average, the ratio of male to female first authors decreased from 1.9 to 1.5 (p < 0.05). Additionally, in 2011, women accounted for 32% of first authors, a number that rose to 40% in 2021. All but the American Journal of Nephrology showed a variation in the ratio of men to women first authors. For the JASN, the ratio changed from 1.81 to 1.58, p = 0.001, for CJASN, the ratio declined from 1.91 to 1.15, p = 0.005 and for AJKD, the ratio declined from 2.19 to 1.19, p = 0.002.
Our study shows that gender biases in publications continue to exist in first-author publications in high-ranking Nephrology journals published in the US; the gap is however closing. We hope this study lays the groundwork to continue following and evaluating gender trends in publication.

© 2023. The Author(s) under exclusive licence to Italian Society of Nephrology.