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Trends in female authorship in research papers on eating disorders: 20-year bibliometric study

  • Mattias Strand (a1) and Cynthia M. Bulik (a2)

There is a clear gender gap in scientific authorship. Although the proportions of female authors in medicine and psychiatry have increased over the past decades, women are still underrepresented.


To analyse authorship gender trends in eating disorder research.


First and last author gender in research articles on eating disorders during the period 1997–2016 were assessed in eating disorder specialty journals, high-impact psychiatry journals and high-impact clinical psychology journals.


The total number of papers on eating disorders increased substantially over the observation period, although a decrease was observed in high-impact psychiatry journals. Female authorship increased in both specialty journals and high-impact psychiatry journals. Authors were significantly less likely to be female in high-impact psychiatry and clinical psychology journals than in speciality journals.


Eating disorder research has been increasingly allocated to specialty journals over the past 20 years. A consistent gender gap between specialty and high-impact journals exists.

Declaration of interest

C.M.B is a grant recipient from Shire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and has participated as a member of their scientific advisory board. These positions are unrelated to the content of this article.

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Corresponding author
Correspondence: Mattias Strand, Consultant Psychiatrist, Stockholm Centre for Eating Disorders, Wollmar Yxkullsgatan 27B, 118 50 Stockholm, Sweden. Email:
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Trends in female authorship in research papers on eating disorders: 20-year bibliometric study

  • Mattias Strand (a1) and Cynthia M. Bulik (a2)
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