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This scientometric review of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) from 2005 to 2018 (3639 studies; 3508 traits) reveals extraordinary increases in sample sizes, rates of discovery and traits studied. A longitudinal examination shows fluctuating ancestral diversity, still predominantly European Ancestry (88% in 2017) with 72% of discoveries from participants recruited from three countries (US, UK, Iceland). US agencies, primarily NIH, fund 85% and women are less often senior authors. We generate a unique GWAS H-Index and reveal a tight social network of prominent authors and frequently used data sets. We conclude with 10 evidence-based policy recommendations for scientists, research bodies, funders, and editors.

Original publication




Journal article


Commun Biol

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Authorship, Capital Financing, Female, Genetic Research, Genome, Human, Genome-Wide Association Study, Humans, Journalism, Medical, Male, Medical Laboratory Personnel, Research Personnel, United Kingdom, United States, Whole Genome Sequencing