A key objective of the project was to discover how active women were in Biochemistry in this era. We decided to use the Biochemical Journal, established in 1906 and adopted as the official journal of the Biochemical Society in 1912, as our source.
I analysed the contents pages of the Biochemical Journal from the first issue to 1939, identifying all articles with at least one discernable female author and printed out the first page of each article. Authors listed by initial only were excluded and I attempted to resolve the gender of authors with ambiguous names through further research. I also sought to eliminate duplicates arising from changes in name, most commonly encountered when an author changed her name upon marriage. Further difficulties were encountered with co-authored articles where author names and institutional affiliations were not explicitly linked; I attempted to clarify institutional affiliations where sufficient biographical data or further articles enabled me to do so.
I entered details of the articles and male co-authors into an Access table. This table was linked to a table of women authors which collated information garnered from the title pages of the articles. The result was an aggregated picture of each author’s career, listing all institutions which they had been affiliated to and all degrees, prizes and funding which they had been awarded. This survey yielded a cohort of 372 authors and 1025 articles, with each author and each article assigned a unique reference number in the table. For the earliest cohort of authors, I attempted to supplement this information by identifying other publications produced by the authors and any relevant biographical information. The googlebooks search facility helped me to locate details of degrees achieved by the authors.
The database is available as a searchable resource to download.