This study aimed to determine the quantity and quality of lower genital tract disease (LGTD) research by topic published across a variety of gynecology and dermatology journals.
Authors accessed all articles that were rejected (1,111, 59.5%) and accepted (755, 40.5%) by the Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease (JLGTD) from 2008 to 2020. Studies were categorized by key topic: Cervix, Human Papillomavirus, Vulva, Vagina, Anal, and Other. Studies were further subcategorized based on methodology. These data were compared with all LGTD publications from 2018 to 2020 in 4 other widely recognized journals (Obstetrics and Gynecology, The British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, JAMA Dermatology, and the British Journal of Dermatology).
Most JLGTD-accepted submissions were related to the cervix (298/755, 39.5%) and vulva (189/755, 25.0%). Rates of acceptance were similar across all key topic areas. Only 3.2% of publications in the other 4 journals (92/2,932) were related to LGTD topics. Across all 5 journals, vulva studies were most commonly case reports/case series (82/218, 37.6%), with a low prevalence of systematic reviews/meta-analyses (4/218 1.8%). In comparison, cervix studies had the highest number of systematic reviews/meta-analyses (14/317, 4.4%) and the lowest number of case reports (14/317, 4.4%).
Vulvar research is of lower quality compared with cervix research published across 5 journals. Comparing accepted versus rejected articles in JLGTD, there is no publication bias against vulva topics noted; rather, the overall research quality in vulva is lower than that of cervical disease. This is a call to action for higher quality vulvar research.