Published on in Vol 6 (2023)

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion of Dermatology Journals and Their Editorial Board Members

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion of Dermatology Journals and Their Editorial Board Members

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion of Dermatology Journals and Their Editorial Board Members


1School of Medicine, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, United States

2College of Medicine, The University of Iowa Carver, Iowa City, IA, United States

3Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, University of Colorado, Denver, CO, United States

Corresponding Author:

Julianne Kiene, MS

School of Medicine

Georgetown University

3900 Reservoir Road NW

Washington, DC, 20007

United States

Phone: 1 417 321 0442


Dermatology as a whole suffers from minority underrepresentation. We conducted a search of the top 60 dermatology journals for mention of their approach to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within their publication through editorial board members or peer-review processes. Of those 60, only 5 had DEI statements or editorial board members dedicated to increasing DEI. There are publications with checklists and frameworks for increasing DEI within the literature. We propose that more journals implement these resources within their peer-review process to increase diversity within their publication.

JMIR Dermatol 2023;6:e44217



Research journals with diverse editorial board members are more likely to publish research from diverse perspectives [1]. As the dermatologic specialty suffers from minority underrepresentation [2], it is pivotal that dermatology journals strive to achieve diverse editorial boards and peer reviewers. Only one study has explored the racial and ethnic demographics of two high-impact dermatology journals, JAMA Dermatology and the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD), finding that their racial demographics mirror that of dermatology, although unrepresentative of the United States population [3]. To the authors’ knowledge, no other studies have explored the diversity of other dermatology journal editorial board members. Improving the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) of academic dermatology requires acknowledgment, leadership roles, and future directions to broaden representation, reduce bias, and improve health disparities. Thus, our goals were to identify DEI efforts of top dermatology journals; to recommend resources for dermatology journal DEI improvement; and to propose JMIR Dermatology’s efforts to improve DEI in our peer-review process.

We identified the 60 highest-impact dermatology journals on Scimago by their h-index score. Each journal’s website was examined for statements on DEI, editorial board members dedicated to DEI, or other information regarding DEI in their peer-review process. Two independent reviewers performed website searches and documented the results separately to improve accuracy. If the journal was a subsidiary of an academic society, we did not include diversity statements made by the society unless it was explicitly stated on the journal’s website.

Of the 60 dermatology journals reviewed, only 5 (8%) referenced DEI either as a policy on its impact on publication processes or identified individuals or groups dedicated to increasing the diversity of published research. For example, JAMA Dermatology has an associate editor for diversity, a mission statement, and mentorship initiatives aimed at advancing DEI within publications. Further, JAAD and the British Journal of Dermatology have editorial groups dedicated to DEI. Pediatric Dermatology has a DEI statement. Finally, Actas Dermo-Sifiliograficas has listed the gender diversity of editors. No other journals met our inclusion criteria. The JAMA Network and American Society of Nephrology created editorial policies and a DEI checklist, respectively, to provide a framework and criteria to ensure DEI is an integral part of the editorial and peer-review processes [4-6]. The recommendations by these journals can be used as a resource for dermatology journals, editors, and peer reviewers desiring to increase DEI in their publications.

JMIR Dermatology is dedicated to improving the DEI within our publications and our peer-review process. We plan to appoint a DEI editor to our editorial board who will lead a diverse editorial review committee. The DEI committee will provide manuscript feedback, recommendations, and guidance to encourage diverse author representation and ensure the use of inclusive language. We urge dermatology journals to join in this step toward improving racial and ethnic DEI in journal review boards.


RR receives fellowship funding from the National Institutes of Health (2T32AR007411-31A1; principal investigator: Dennis Roop).

Conflicts of Interest

RR is an editorial board fellow/member for JMIR Dermatology and a Dermatology Clinical Trial fellow. RD is the Editor-in-Chief of JMIR Dermatology.

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  2. Granstein RD, Cornelius L, Shinkai K. Diversity in dermatology-a call for action. JAMA Dermatol 2017 Jun 01;153(6):499-500. [CrossRef] [Medline]
  3. Alvarado SM, Grant-Kels JM, Elston D, Feng H. Diversity and dermatology journals. J Am Acad Dermatol 2021 Dec;85(6):1407-1408. [CrossRef] [Medline]
  4. Fontanarosa PB, Flanagin A, Ayanian JZ, Bonow RO, Bressler NM, Christakis D, et al. Equity and the JAMA Network. JAMA Oncol 2021 Aug 01;7(8):1119-1121. [CrossRef] [Medline]
  5. Flanagin A, Frey T, Christiansen SL, AMA Manual of Style Committee. Updated guidance on the reporting of race and ethnicity in medical and science journals. JAMA 2021 Aug 17;326(7):621-627. [CrossRef] [Medline]
  6. Checklist for reporting of race and ethnicity in medical and science journals modified from JAMA. American Society of Nephrology. 2022 Mar.   URL: [accessed 2023-02-24]

DEI: diversity, equity, and inclusion
JAAD: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

Edited by G Eysenbach; This is a non–peer-reviewed article. submitted 10.11.22; accepted 15.02.23; published 10.03.23


©Julianne Kiene, Sarah Minion, Ramiro Rodriguez, Robert Dellavalle. Originally published in JMIR Dermatology (, 10.03.2023.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Dermatology, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.