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More insight into the fate of biomedical meeting abstracts: a systematic review.

von Elm E, Costanza MC, Walder B, Tramèr MR - BMC Med Res Methodol (2003)

Bottom Line: Factors associated with both abstract acceptance and subsequent publication were basic science and positive study outcome.Abstract acceptance itself was strongly associated with full publication.Acceptance at meetings and publication were associated with specific characteristics of abstracts and meetings.

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Affiliation: Centre for Evidence-Based Perioperative Medicine, Division of Anaesthesiology, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland. vonelm@ispm.unibe.ch

ABSTRACT

Background: It has been estimated that about 45% of abstracts that are accepted for presentation at biomedical meetings will subsequently be published in full. The acceptance of abstracts at meetings and their fate after initial rejection are less well understood. We set out to estimate the proportion of abstracts submitted to meetings that are eventually published as full reports, and to explore factors that are associated with meeting acceptance and successful publication.

Methods: Studies analysing acceptance of abstracts at biomedical meetings or their subsequent full publication were searched in MEDLINE, OLDMEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, BIOSIS, Science Citation Index Expanded, and by hand searching of bibliographies and proceedings. We estimated rates of abstract acceptance and of subsequent full publication, and identified abstract and meeting characteristics associated with acceptance and publication, using logistic regression analysis, survival-type analysis, and meta-analysis.

Results: Analysed meetings were held between 1957 and 1999. Of 14945 abstracts that were submitted to 43 meetings, 46% were accepted. The rate of full publication was studied with 19123 abstracts that were presented at 234 meetings. Using survival-type analysis, we estimated that 27% were published after two, 41% after four, and 44% after six years. Of 2412 abstracts that were rejected at 24 meetings, 27% were published despite rejection. Factors associated with both abstract acceptance and subsequent publication were basic science and positive study outcome. Large meetings and those held outside the US were more likely to accept abstracts. Abstracts were more likely to be published subsequently if presented either orally, at small meetings, or at a US meeting. Abstract acceptance itself was strongly associated with full publication.

Conclusions: About one third of abstracts submitted to biomedical meetings were published as full reports. Acceptance at meetings and publication were associated with specific characteristics of abstracts and meetings.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Flows of abstracts from submission to a meeting until full publication.
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Figure 1: Flows of abstracts from submission to a meeting until full publication.

Mentions: We defined three flows of abstracts (Figure 1). Flow 1 described abstracts that were submitted to a meeting and accepted for presentation. Flow 2 described accepted abstracts that were published subsequently as full reports. Flow 3 described abstracts rejected by a meeting that were published subsequently despite rejection. Abstracts were considered as unpublished if they could not be retrieved as full reports, including papers that were still in the publishing process (in press), not easily accessible (grey literature), or not published at all (file drawer).


More insight into the fate of biomedical meeting abstracts: a systematic review.

von Elm E, Costanza MC, Walder B, Tramèr MR - BMC Med Res Methodol (2003)

Flows of abstracts from submission to a meeting until full publication.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC184388&req=5

Figure 1: Flows of abstracts from submission to a meeting until full publication.
Mentions: We defined three flows of abstracts (Figure 1). Flow 1 described abstracts that were submitted to a meeting and accepted for presentation. Flow 2 described accepted abstracts that were published subsequently as full reports. Flow 3 described abstracts rejected by a meeting that were published subsequently despite rejection. Abstracts were considered as unpublished if they could not be retrieved as full reports, including papers that were still in the publishing process (in press), not easily accessible (grey literature), or not published at all (file drawer).

Bottom Line: Factors associated with both abstract acceptance and subsequent publication were basic science and positive study outcome.Abstract acceptance itself was strongly associated with full publication.Acceptance at meetings and publication were associated with specific characteristics of abstracts and meetings.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Evidence-Based Perioperative Medicine, Division of Anaesthesiology, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland. vonelm@ispm.unibe.ch

ABSTRACT

Background: It has been estimated that about 45% of abstracts that are accepted for presentation at biomedical meetings will subsequently be published in full. The acceptance of abstracts at meetings and their fate after initial rejection are less well understood. We set out to estimate the proportion of abstracts submitted to meetings that are eventually published as full reports, and to explore factors that are associated with meeting acceptance and successful publication.

Methods: Studies analysing acceptance of abstracts at biomedical meetings or their subsequent full publication were searched in MEDLINE, OLDMEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, BIOSIS, Science Citation Index Expanded, and by hand searching of bibliographies and proceedings. We estimated rates of abstract acceptance and of subsequent full publication, and identified abstract and meeting characteristics associated with acceptance and publication, using logistic regression analysis, survival-type analysis, and meta-analysis.

Results: Analysed meetings were held between 1957 and 1999. Of 14945 abstracts that were submitted to 43 meetings, 46% were accepted. The rate of full publication was studied with 19123 abstracts that were presented at 234 meetings. Using survival-type analysis, we estimated that 27% were published after two, 41% after four, and 44% after six years. Of 2412 abstracts that were rejected at 24 meetings, 27% were published despite rejection. Factors associated with both abstract acceptance and subsequent publication were basic science and positive study outcome. Large meetings and those held outside the US were more likely to accept abstracts. Abstracts were more likely to be published subsequently if presented either orally, at small meetings, or at a US meeting. Abstract acceptance itself was strongly associated with full publication.

Conclusions: About one third of abstracts submitted to biomedical meetings were published as full reports. Acceptance at meetings and publication were associated with specific characteristics of abstracts and meetings.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus