Reporting Race and Ethnicity in Genetics Research: Do Journal Recommendations or Resources Matter?
- 318 Downloads
Appeals to scrutinize the use of race and ethnicity as variables in genetics research notwithstanding, these variables continue to be inadequately explained and inconsistently used in research publications. In previous research, we found that published genetic research fails to follow suggestions offered for addressing this problem, such as explaining the basis on which these labels are assigned to populations. This study, an analysis of genetic research articles using race or ethnicity terms, explores possible features of journals that are associated with improved reporting of race and ethnicity in genetic research. A journal’s expressed commitment to improving how race and ethnicity are used in genetic research, demonstrated by an editorial or in its instructions to authors, was the strongest predictor of following recommendations about reporting race and ethnicity. Journal impact factor had only a limited positive effect on attention to these issues, suggesting that editorial resources associated with higher impact factor journals are not sufficient to improve practices. Our findings reiterate that race and ethnicity variables are used inconsistently in genetic research, but also shed light on how journals might improve practices by highlighting the need for scientists to carefully scrutinize the use of these variables in their work.
KeywordsRace Ethnicity Genetics research Terminology Compliance Journals
This study was supported by a grant from the Public Health Service (R01-HG003191).
- Andreason, R. O. (2005). The meaning of “Race”: Folk conceptions and the new biology of race. Journal of Philosophy, 102, 94–106.Google Scholar
- Anonymous. (1996). Style matters: Ethnicity, race, and culture: Guidelines for research, audit, and publication. British Medical Journal, 312, 1094.Google Scholar
- Anonymous. (2000). Census, race, and science. Nature Genetics, 24, 97–98.Google Scholar
- Anonymous. (2004) The unexamined ‘Caucasian’. Nature Genetics, 36(6), 541.Google Scholar
- Bennett, T. (1997). “Racial” and ethnic classification: Two steps forward and one step back? Public Health Reports, 112, 477–480.Google Scholar
- Buchanan, C. C., Torstenson, E. S., Bush, W. S., Ritchie, M. D. (2012). A comparison of cataloged variation between International HapMap Consortium and 1000 Genomes Project data. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 19, 289–294.Google Scholar
- Dutton, G., (2006) Correlating genomics, race, and medicine researchers strive to quantify racial role in disease risk & treatment. Genetic Engineering News, 26(1), 1–+.Google Scholar
- Ellison, G. T. H., Smart, A., Tutton, R., Outram, S. M., Ashcroft, R., & Martin, P. (2007). Racial categories in medicine: A failure of evidence-based practice? Public Library of Science Medicine, 4, 1434–1436.Google Scholar
- Haney-Lopez, I. F. (1994). The social construction of race: Some observations on illusion, fabrication, and choice. Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, 29(1), 1–62. 66–67, 11–17.Google Scholar
- International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. (2003). Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: Writing and editing for biomedical publication. Retrieved April 19, 2004, www.icmje.org.
- International HapMap Project. (2005). Guidelines for referring to the HapMap populations in publications and presentations. http://www.hapmap.org/citinghapmap.html.
- Koenig, B. A., Lee, S. S. J., & Richardson, S. (2008). Revisiting race in a genomic age. Piscataway: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
- Muhr, T. (2004). User’s manual for ATLAS.ti. Berlin: Scientific Software Development GmbH.Google Scholar
- Sankar, P. (2003). Medline definitions of race and ethnicity and their application to genetic research. Nature Genetics, 34(2), 119.Google Scholar
- Sankar, P. (2013). Genomics research and race: Refining claims about essentialism. In J. Hartigan (Ed.), Anthropology of Race Genes, Biology, and Culture, (pp. 107-124). SAR Press: Santa Fe, NM.Google Scholar
- Thomson ISI. (2005a). Journal citation reports. Retrieved July 1, 2005, www.isinet.com.
- Thomson ISI. (2005b). The impact factor. Retrieved July 25, 2005, www.isinet.com/essays/journalcitationreports/7.html.
- Van der Weyden, M. (2007). The ICMJE and URM: Providing independent advice for the conduct of biomedical research and publication. In A. Singh & S. Singh (Eds.), The academia-industry symposium MSM 2007: Medical practice and pharmaceutical industry. And ever the duo shall meet: MSM, 5, 15–24.Google Scholar