Objective: To evaluate the scientific impact of women in the surgical literature. Methods: Gender of the principal investigator of every abstract presented at the 2002, 2003, and 2004 annual meetings of the Association for Academic Surgery and Society of University Surgeons was identified by internet search. Resulting publications were identified using PubMed. Journal impact factor and number of article citations were determined using ISI Web of Knowledge. Results: The principal investigator's gender was identified for 649 (98.8%) of the 657 abstracts presented at the 2002-2004 AAS meetings. Women authored 9.1% of abstracts and 11.8% of total resulting publications. The publication rate of abstracts by women was significantly higher than that of men (69.5% versus 52.4%, P = 0.0132). There was a trend toward higher average impact factors of journals in which female authors published (3.265 versus 2.673, P = 0.0626). There was no significant difference in mean number of citations per publication. The principal investigator's gender was identified for all 337 (100%) abstracts presented at the 2002-2004 SUS meetings. Women authored 11.0% of abstracts and 11.2% of resulting publications. Publication rates and average citation numbers were similar for female and male authors. The average impact factors of journals in which women published were significantly higher (4.741 versus 3.348, P = 0.0082). Conclusions: Although women comprise a small proportion of principal investigators on abstracts presented at these conferences, the quality of their presented work is equal to or better than those of their male counterparts.
- peer review
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