A gender-based comparison of academic rank and scholarly productivity in academic neurological surgery

Krystal L. Tomei, Meghan M. Nahass, Qasim Husain, Nitin Agarwal, Smruti K. Patel, Peter F. Svider, Jean Anderson Eloy, James K. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The number of women pursuing training opportunities in neurological surgery has increased, although they are still underrepresented at senior positions relative to junior academic ranks. Research productivity is an important component of the academic advancement process. We sought to use the h-index, a bibliometric previously analyzed among neurological surgeons, to evaluate whether there are gender differences in academic rank and research productivity among academic neurological surgeons. The h-index was calculated for 1052 academic neurological surgeons from 84 institutions, and organized by gender and academic rank. Overall men had statistically higher research productivity (mean 13.3) than their female colleagues (mean 9.5), as measured by the h-index, in the overall sample (p < 0.0007). When separating by academic rank, there were no statistical differences (p > 0.05) in h-index at the assistant professor (mean 7.2 male, 6.3 female), associate professor (11.2 male, 10.8 female), and professor (20.0 male, 18.0 female) levels based on gender. There was insufficient data to determine significance at the chairperson rank, as there was only one female chairperson. Although overall gender differences in scholarly productivity were detected, these differences did not reach statistical significance upon controlling for academic rank. Women were grossly underrepresented at the level of chairpersons in this sample of 1052 academic neurological surgeons, likely a result of the low proportion of females in this specialty. Future studies may be needed to investigate gender-specific research trends for neurosurgical residents, a cohort that in recent years has seen increased representation by women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1102-1105
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


  • Academic productivity
  • Academic promotion
  • Academic rank determination
  • Academic rank in surgical specialties
  • Gender comparison
  • Surgical faculty productivity
  • h-index


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