Diversified innovations in the health sciences: Proposal for a Diversity Minimal Item Set (DiMIS)

Diversity Assessment Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Science strives to provide high-quality evidence for all members of society, but there continues to be a considerable gender and diversity data gap, i.e., a systematic lack of data for traditionally underrepresented groups. Gender and other diversity domains are related to morbidity, mortality, and social and economic participation, yet measures as well as evidence regarding how these domains intersect are missing. We propose a brief, efficient Diversity Minimal Item Set (DiMIS) for routine data collection in empirical studies to contribute to closing the diversity and gender data gap. We focus on the example of health but consider the DiMIS applicable across scientific disciplines. Methods: To identify items for the DiMIS across diversity domains, we performed an extensive literature search and conducted semi-structured interviews with scientific experts and community stakeholders in nine diversity domains. Using this information, we created a minimal item set of self-report survey items for each domain. Findings: Items covering nine diversity domains as well as discrimination experiences were compiled from a variety of sources and modified as recommended by experts. The DiMIS focuses on an intersectional approach, i.e., studying gender, age, socioeconomic status, care responsibilities, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, disability, mental and physical health, and their intersections. It allows for data sets with comparable assessments of gender and diversity across multiple projects to be combined, creating samples large enough for meaningful analyses. Interpretation: In proposing the DiMIS, we hope to advance the conversation about closing the gender and diversity data gap in science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101072
JournalSustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Diversity science
  • Equity
  • Gendered innovation
  • Health disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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