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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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Flow 2, from abstract acceptance to subsequent full publication. Combined (Kaplan-Meier) publication rates with sensitivity analyses.
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Figure 2: Flow 2, from abstract acceptance to subsequent full publication. Combined (Kaplan-Meier) publication rates with sensitivity analyses.

Mentions: There were large variations in both follow-up periods (range, 8 months [73] to 300 months [39]) and publication rates (range, 0%[53] to 82% [53]). Numerous studies reported on only one publication rate resulting in one long follow-up interval. In sensitivity analyses, the shape of the Kaplan-Meier curve differed depending on the maximum length of the average follow-up interval (Figure 2). Average follow-up intervals ≤ 1 year were provided for a subgroup of 6383 abstracts or 33% of all abstracts. For those, the publication rate after one year was 12% (95%CI 11–13%), after two years was 27% (26–29%), after three years was 37% (36–38%), after four years was 41% (40–43%), and after six years was 44% (43–46%). The shape of the Kaplan-Meier curve suggested a plateau at about 45%; however, there was little data for follow-up periods longer than six years. Including data from studies with an average follow-up interval of up to two years did not change the shape of the curve. When studies with an average follow-up interval of up to four years or all studies were included, the analyses tended to yield lower publication rates until the fourth to sixth year, and higher publication rates thereafter (Figure 2).


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)

Flow 2, from abstract acceptance to subsequent full publication. Combined (Kaplan-Meier) publication rates with sensitivity analyses.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 2: Flow 2, from abstract acceptance to subsequent full publication. Combined (Kaplan-Meier) publication rates with sensitivity analyses.
Mentions: There were large variations in both follow-up periods (range, 8 months [73] to 300 months [39]) and publication rates (range, 0%[53] to 82% [53]). Numerous studies reported on only one publication rate resulting in one long follow-up interval. In sensitivity analyses, the shape of the Kaplan-Meier curve differed depending on the maximum length of the average follow-up interval (Figure 2). Average follow-up intervals ≤ 1 year were provided for a subgroup of 6383 abstracts or 33% of all abstracts. For those, the publication rate after one year was 12% (95%CI 11–13%), after two years was 27% (26–29%), after three years was 37% (36–38%), after four years was 41% (40–43%), and after six years was 44% (43–46%). The shape of the Kaplan-Meier curve suggested a plateau at about 45%; however, there was little data for follow-up periods longer than six years. Including data from studies with an average follow-up interval of up to two years did not change the shape of the curve. When studies with an average follow-up interval of up to four years or all studies were included, the analyses tended to yield lower publication rates until the fourth to sixth year, and higher publication rates thereafter (Figure 2).

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