Download icon

Meta-Research: A 10-year follow-up study of sex inclusion in the biological sciences

  1. Nicole C Woitowich  Is a corresponding author
  2. Annaliese Beery
  3. Teresa Woodruff
  1. Women’s Health Research Institute and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, United States
  2. Department of Psychology, Department of Biology and Program in Neuroscience, Smith College, United States
Feature Article
Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e56344 doi: 10.7554/eLife.56344
2 figures, 1 table and 2 additional files

Figures

Comparison of studies by field, sex, and sex-based analyses in 2009 and 2019.

(A). The proportion of articles surveyed in 2009 and 2019 which utilized male subjects, female subjects, both male and female subjects, or those that did not specify the sex of the subjects. Data are presented by individual biological discipline as well as by the sum of all nine disciplines. (B). The percentage of articles surveyed in 2009 and 2019 which utilized both male and female subjects and conducted sex-based analyses, either by including sex as a covariate or by subgroup analyses. Data are presented by individual biological discipline as well as by the sum of all nine disciplines. The source data for this figure are in Supplementary file 1.

Percent of articles which provided the sample size (n) by sex, rationale for single-sex studies, or rationale for the lack of sex-based analyses.

(A). The percentage of articles which utilized both male and female subjects and provided a description of the sample size by sex. Data are presented by individual biological discipline as well as by the sum of all nine disciplines. (B). Categorization of articles which provided rationale for single sex-studies or the lack of sex-based analyses (n = 30) into seven distinct themes. Each theme includes representative rationale derived from the experimental methods. The source data for this figure are in Supplementary file 1.

Tables

Table 1
Journals surveyed by subject area in 2009 and 2019.
DisciplineJournal AJournal BJournal CJournal D
General BiologyPLoS BiologyProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological SciencesNatureScience
ImmunologyJournal of ImmunologyInfection and ImmunityImmunityVaccine
NeuroscienceJournal of NeuroscienceNeuroscienceThe Journal of Comparative NeurologyNature Neuroscience
PhysiologyJournal of Physiology (London)American Journal of Physiology – Renal PhysiologyAmerican Journal of Physiology – Gastrointestinal and Liver PhysiologyAmerican Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology
PharmacologyNeuropsycho- pharmacologyJournal of Psychopharma- cologyThe Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental TherapeuticsBritish Journal of Pharmacology
ReproductionBiology of ReproductionReproduction
EndocrinologyEuropean Journal of EndocrinologyJournal of Neuroendo- crinologyEndocrinologyAmerican Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism
Behavioral PhysiologyJournal of Comparative PsychologyBehavioral NeurosciencePhysiology and BehaviorHormones and Behavior
BehaviorBehavioral Ecology and SociobiologyAnimal BehaviourAnimal CognitionBehavioral Ecology

Data availability

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 1 and 2.

Additional files

Supplementary file 1

Data for Figures 1 and 2.

This file contains the data represented in Figures 1 and 2, as well as p-values for all the statistical tests shown in Figures 1 and 2.

https://cdn.elifesciences.org/articles/56344/elife-56344-supp1-v1.xlsx
Transparent reporting form
https://cdn.elifesciences.org/articles/56344/elife-56344-transrepform-v1.pdf

Download links

A two-part list of links to download the article, or parts of the article, in various formats.

Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)

Download citations (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)

Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)