Journal Information
Vol. 57. Issue 2.
Pages 146-147 (February 2021)
Vol. 57. Issue 2.
Pages 146-147 (February 2021)
Letter to the Editor
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Errare humanum est, though a lucky mistake, indeed!
Errare humanum est, ¡pero afortunado error!
Daniel López-Padillaa,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
, Francisco García-Ríob, Adolfo Alonso-Arroyoc, Nuria Arenas Vallsd, Alicia Cerezo Lajasa, Marta Corral Blancoe, Virginia Gallo Gonzáleza, Milagros Llanos Floresa, María Martínez Redondof, Natalia Martos Gisbertg, Elena Ojeda Castillejoa, Marta Padilla Bernáldeze, Marta Pérez Gallánh, Vania Prudencio Riberae, Luis Puente Maestua,i, Beatriz Recio Morenoa, Elena Rodríguez Jimenoj, Ana Sánchez Azofrak, Gonzalo Segrelles-Calvol, José Rafael Terán Tinedoa, Perla Valenzuela Reyesh, José Ignacio de Granda-Orivee,i
a Servicio de Neumología, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain
b Servicio de Neumología, Hospital Universitario La Paz-IdiPaz, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
c Departamento de Historia de la Ciencia y Documentación, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain
d Servicio de Neumología, Hospital Universitario Infanta Sofía, San Sebastián de los Reyes, Madrid, Spain
e Servicio de Neumología, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain
f Servicio de Neumología, Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid, Spain
g Servicio de Anestesiología, Hospital Universitario Severo Ochoa, Leganés, Madrid, Spain
h Servicio de Neumología, Hospital Central de la Defensa Gómez Ulla, Madrid, Spain
i Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
j Servicio de Neumología, Hospital Universitario Infanta Leonor, Madrid, Spain
k Servicio de Neumología, Hospital Universitario La Princesa, Madrid, Spain
l Servicio de Neumología, Hospital Universitario Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain
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Tables (1)
Table 1. Gender of first and last authors of original articles of Archivos de Bronconeumología over the proposed study periods.
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We were delighted to receive comments from Padilla-Navas et al.1 on our article on gender differences in the publication of original articles in Archivos de Bronconeumología2. These authors disagree with our optimism in claiming that the number of women in the position of first author has increased over the years, given that when simple cross-multiplication is applied to the expected ratio in terms of the increasing proportion of registered female doctors, the percentage of women as first authors in the period 2016–2018, instead of 34.5%, should have been 37% if the previous ratio is maintained, so there are proportionately fewer women as first authors in this last period than in previous years. This compelled us to thoroughly review our data and, due to a numerical error that we still cannot explain, as this is the only wrong figure, we realize that we did indeed miscalculate the disputed percentage. Table 1 of our article shows that in the period 2016–2018, a total of 59 male first authors and 47 female first authors were documented, corresponding to 65.5% and 34.5% of the 106 publications, respectively. However, these percentages are incorrect, since 59 male first authors represent 55.7% and 47 women, 44.3%. That is to say, the percentage of female first authors in the period 2016–2018 was 44% and not 34.5%, 7% higher than the expected ratio. We attach Table 1 with this correction.

Table 1.

Gender of first and last authors of original articles of Archivos de Bronconeumología over the proposed study periods.

Study period  First authorLast authorTotal 
  Men  Women  Men  Women   
2001-2005  185 (73.1)  68 (26.9)  202 (79.8)  51 (20.2)  253 
2006-2010  187 (68.8)  85 (31.2)  214 (78.7)  58 (21.3)  272 
2011-2015  111 (56.3)  86 (43.7)  163 (82.7)  34 (17.3)  197 
2016-2018  59 (55.7)  47 (44.3)  81 (76.4)  25 (23.6)  106 
p-value  0.00010.570 

Aside from this “lucky” mistake, our study group and the Padilla-Navas group are united in spirit, pursuing the common objective of addressing an issue as important as the manifest gender inequality in scientific publications. One of the major limitations of our study was our exclusion of other types of documents, such as editorials, that are usually written by invited experts. Specifically, in the case of AB, we know that only 16% of the editorials published between 2005 and 2016 were authored by women in first position, and that this percentage did not change significantly in the different periods3. Clearly, the situation is far from ideal, particularly with regard to the authorship positions of experts or heads of research groups. In a more recent study on gender inequalities in the authorship of 24 Spanish medical journals indexed in SCImago Journal & Country Rank in 2017, which included editorials and review articles, the female/male ratio in AB was 0.76, positioning it at number 16 of the 24 journals analyzed4. However, in 2019, 35 original articles were published in AB, of which 20 were signed by women as first authors, 57% overall. Therefore, without any intention of offering false optimism, we consider it remarkable that at least in the field of original publications, the journal has witnessed favorable changes.

Authors’ contribution

All the authors participated in the drafting of the final document.


This letter received no funding of any kind.

Conflict of interests

There are no conflicts of interest to declare.

I. Padilla-Navas, E. García-Pachón.
Diferencia de género en la autoría de artículos en Archivos de Bronconeumología.
D. López-Padilla, F. García-Río, A. Alonso-Arroyo, N. Arenas Valls, A. Cerezo Lajas, M. Corral Blanco, et al.
Diferencias de género en las publicaciones originales de Archivos de Bronconeumología en el periodo 2001-2018.
I. Padilla-Navas, L. Alonso-Casado, E. García-Pachón.
Mujeres autoras de artículos editoriales en revistas españolas de Neumología.
Rev Patol Respir, 20 (2017), pp. 37-38
S. Tornero Patricio, I.O. Alonso Rueda, J. García Gozalbes, J.A. Domínguez Domínguez, L. Charris-Castro, M.D. González Soria, et al.
Desigualdades de género en la autoría de las principales revistas médicas españolas durante el año 2017.

Please cite this article as: López-Padilla D, García-Río F, Alonso-Arroyo A, Valls NA, Lajas AC, Blanco MC. Errare humanum est, ¡pero afortunado error! Arch Bronconeumol. 2021;57:146–147.

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Archivos de Bronconeumología

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