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March 26, 2020

JAMA Ophthalmology—The Year in Review, 2019: Striving for Sex Parity in Leadership and Excellence in Publications

Author Affiliations
  • 1Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Editor, JAMA Ophthalmology
JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online March 26, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.0480

Each year, in the early spring, JAMA Ophthalmology leadership pauses momentarily to review substantial changes over the past year and to thank our editorial board, the Advisory Committee, other journal staff, peer reviewers, and authors for contributing to the journal’s mission, “To be the indispensable source of ophthalmic knowledge by promptly publishing innovative, clinically relevant research through consistent and authoritative peer review and, thereby, to be the first choice of authors for their important manuscripts.” We also look back over the year and reflect on how we are doing.

For the first time in the journal’s 150-year history, more than 50% of the editorial board members were women in 2019. Why is it important to be aware of this demographic? In 2017, the American Academy of Ophthalmology reported that 24% of its members and fellows actively practicing in the United States were women, as were half of the ophthalmology residents.1 Nevertheless, the Editors in Chief of the top 10 ophthalmology journals, based on impact factor in 2019, were all men. The percentage of women on these editorial boards ranged from 11% to 53%. Four of these 10 journals mostly publish review articles rather than original investigations, and women comprised 11%, 32%, 30%, and 23% of their editorial boards in 2019. For the 6 other ophthalmology journals, women comprised 37%, 53% (JAMA Ophthalmology), 18%, 19%, 42%, and 15% of their editorial boards in 2019. While the editorial boards of ophthalmology journals have appropriate expertise, recognizing the sex imbalance allows for the consideration of possible unconscious bias, since editorial board members have a substantial role influencing what submissions get published and who writes opinion pieces, such as Invited Commentaries or Editorials. The editors and other editorial board members at JAMA Ophthalmology remain committed to sex parity for the journal.

Other measures of the journal can be seen in the Table2-4 and the statistics found in similar tables provided from previous years. For example, the number of research manuscripts received increased by 3.3% from 2018. Since the total number of publications remained approximately the same, invariably, the acceptance rate decreased. The acceptance rate of research submissions in 2019 was 10% compared with 13% in 2018. The global reach of the journal continues to grow, with more than 34 000 recipients of the electronic table of contents each week compared with 29 587 in 2018, an increase of more than 15%; there were more than 3.1 million full-text/PDF downloads in 2019 compared with more than 2.9 million in 2018, representing a 7% increase around the world.

Table.  JAMA Ophthalmology Statistics for 2019
JAMA Ophthalmology Statistics for 2019

The journal’s success remains dependent on providing articles that may have a great effect on clinical practice, such as randomized clinical trials, and depends on peer reviewers5 whose experience and expertise helps to bring out the best in each investigation that the journal publishes. On behalf of the journal’s editorial board and Advisory Committee, I thank our peer reviewers for their invaluable contributions to the journal, along with the authors of JAMA Ophthalmology publications, who share their scientific investigations in this way. We look back on 2019, the 150th Anniversary of JAMA Ophthalmology, with pride but look forward to even more novel, clinically relevant articles in the years to come.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Neil M. Bressler, MD, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 N Wolfe St, Maumenee 7th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21287 (nmboffice@jhmi.edu).

Published Online: March 26, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.0480

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

American Academy of Ophthalmology. Gender and leadership. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://www.aao.org/eyenet/article/gender-and-leadership
Ismail  OM, Poole  ZB, Bierly  SL,  et al.  Association between dry eye disease and migraine headaches in a large population-based study.  JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019;137(5):532-536. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.0170PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Kang  EY-C, Chen  T-H, Garg  SJ,  et al.  Association of statin therapy with prevention of vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy.  JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019;137(4):363-371. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.6399PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Kang  JH, Boumenna  T, Stein  JD,  et al.  Association of statin use and high serum cholesterol levels with risk of primary open-angle glaucoma.  JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019;137(7):756-765. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.0900PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
 JAMA Ophthalmology peer reviewers in 2019.  JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online March 26, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.0143Google Scholar
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