Workshop Summary

 

OVERVIEW

On August 30, 2011, the Institute of Medicine hosted a workshop, Sex-Specific Reporting of Scientific Research, sponsored by the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).1 The workshop explored the need for sex-specific reporting of scientific results; potential barriers and unintended consequences of sex-specific reporting of scientific results; experiences of journals that have implemented sex-specific requirements, including the challenges and benefits of such editorial policies; and steps to facilitate the reporting of sex-specific results. Presenters and participants included current and former editors of scientific journals, researchers, and scientists and policymakers from government, industry, and nonprofit organizations. Presentations and discussions highlighted the importance to both women and men of having sex-specific data, the problems with sample size and financial constraints for conducting the research, the appropriateness of sex-specific analyses, and the limitations of journal policies to change experimental designs. During closing remarks, the planning committee chair summarized some of the individual suggestions discussed for advancing sex-specific reporting as: identifying the sex of

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1The workshop was planned in collaboration with the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Health Sciences Policy and was organized by an independent planning committee whose role was limited to identification of topics and speakers. The present summary was prepared by the rapporteur as a factual summary of the presentations and discussions that took place at the workshop. Statements, recommendations, and opinions expressed are those of individual presenters and participants and are not necessarily endorsed or verified by the National Academies, and they should not be construed as reflecting any group consensus.



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Workshop Summary OVERVIEW On August 30, 2011, the Institute of Medicine hosted a work- shop, Sex-Specific Reporting of Scientific Research, sponsored by the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) of the National Insti- tutes of Health (NIH).1 The workshop explored the need for sex-specific reporting of scientific results; potential barriers and unintended conse- quences of sex-specific reporting of scientific results; experiences of journals that have implemented sex-specific requirements, including the challenges and benefits of such editorial policies; and steps to facilitate the reporting of sex-specific results. Presenters and participants included current and former editors of scientific journals, researchers, and scien- tists and policymakers from government, industry, and nonprofit organi- zations. Presentations and discussions highlighted the importance to both women and men of having sex-specific data, the problems with sample size and financial constraints for conducting the research, the appropri- ateness of sex-specific analyses, and the limitations of journal policies to change experimental designs. During closing remarks, the planning committee chair summarized some of the individual suggestions dis- cussed for advancing sex-specific reporting as: identifying the sex of 1 The workshop was planned in collaboration with the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Health Sciences Policy and was organized by an independent planning committee whose role was limited to identification of topics and speakers. The present summary was prepared by the rapporteur as a factual summary of the presentations and discussions that took place at the workshop. Statements, rec- ommendations, and opinions expressed are those of individual presenters and participants and are not necessarily endorsed or verified by the National Acade- mies, and they should not be construed as reflecting any group consensus. 1