Top haematology journals failing on gender, sex reporting

The majority of haematology journals are failing miserably when it comes to the reporting of sex and gender in research, an analysis reveals.

The drill down on 25 leading high impact haematology journals found that 15 (60%) did not have a sex or gender reporting policy. And only five journals had an author guideline policy for reporting sex and gender, two of which defined the difference between the terms.

The Lancet Haematology was on its own in requiring researchers to report their methods used to determine sex and gender. 

None of the journals required collection of both sex and gender variables. 

This “substantial” lack of specific guidance from journals was likely “contributing to the commonly seen under-reporting or conflation of sex and gender variables in the published literature,” the US authors noted. 

They suggested that haematology journal editors and publishers update their author guidelines to: include accurate definitions of sex and gender; discuss how to integrate and report sex and gender demographics in research; explicitly require investigators to report their methods used to determine sex and gender, and ensure researchers include limitations to determining and reporting these variables in their studies. 

“These recommendations and additional improvements in journals’ author instructions and reporting guidelines will enhance the reliability of results, promote inclusivity, and provide evidence-based care for all patients, including transgender and non-binary individuals,” the US authors concluded. 

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