Published...Or perished?

The American Journal of Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.7). 11/2008; 36(10):1873-4. DOI: 10.1177/0363546508325533
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Abstracts of presentations at scientific meetings are usually available only in conference proceedings. If subsequent full publication of abstract results is based on the magnitude or direction of study results, publication bias may result. Publication bias, in turn, creates problems for those conducting systematic reviews or relying on the published literature for evidence. To determine the rate at which abstract results are subsequently published in full, and the time between meeting presentation and full publication. To assess the association between study characteristics and full publication. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, Science Citation Index, reference lists, and author files. Date of most recent search: June 2003. We included all reports that examined the subsequent full publication rate of biomedical results initially presented as abstracts or in summary form. Follow-up of abstracts had to be at least two years. Two reviewers extracted data. We calculated the weighted mean full publication rate and time to full publication. Dichotomous variables were analyzed using relative risk and random effects models. We assessed time to publication using Kaplan-Meier survival analyses. Combining data from 79 reports (29,729 abstracts) resulted in a weighted mean full publication rate of 44.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) 43.9 to 45.1). Survival analyses resulted in an estimated publication rate at 9 years of 52.6% for all studies, 63.1% for randomized or controlled clinical trials, and 49.3% for other types of study designs.'Positive' results defined as any 'significant' result showed an association with full publication (RR = 1.30; CI 1.14 to 1.47), as did 'positive' results defined as a result favoring the experimental treatment (RR =1.17; CI 1.02 to 1.35), and 'positive' results emanating from randomized or controlled clinical trials (RR = 1.18, CI 1.07 to 1.30). Other factors associated with full publication include oral presentation (RR = 1.28; CI 1.09 to 1.49); acceptance for meeting presentation (RR = 1.78; CI 1.50 to 2.12); randomized trial study design (RR = 1.24; CI 1.14 to 1.36); and basic research (RR = 0.79; CI 0.70 to 0.89). Higher quality of abstracts describing randomized or controlled clinical trials was also associated with full publication (RR = 1.30, CI 1.00 to 1.71). Only 63% of results from abstracts describing randomized or controlled clinical trials are published in full. 'Positive' results were more frequently published than not 'positive' results.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 02/2007; DOI:10.1002/14651858.MR000005.pub3 · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstracts accepted for presentation at a pediatric surgical meeting usually result in publication. This study attempts to evaluate the relationship of abstracts to the finished, published manuscript. Thirty-three papers published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery over a 2-year period were randomly selected and compared with their original program abstracts. Only 10 of 33 (30%) had the same title and authors as their abstract. Nine manuscripts underwent revisions of their title and two had different first authors. Nine (27%) had one more author, two had 2 more authors, and 3 had one less author. Only 11 of 33 (33%) had the same data in the paper and in the abstract. Fifteen (45%) had numbers that were mathematically inconsistent with their abstracts. (Range was from 75% fewer cases to 210% more patients.) Ten papers had smaller numbers of patients or experiments while nine had larger numbers than their respective abstracts. Of the seven experimental papers, four had smaller numbers than their original abstract. The conclusions stated in the papers were similar to the program abstracts in 23 of 33 comparisons. In the remaining ten, the conclusions were not only different but rather routinely weaker than in the abstract. In no instance were the data or conclusions stronger. Two papers bore little relationship to their abstract. These facts suggest a need for change in the current evaluation process wherein a highly competitive abstract leads to a presentation, which leads to publication. At the very least, the need is shown for authors to evaluate data completely before submitting an abstract, so that the program committee actually reads the true data.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
    Journal of Pediatric Surgery 02/1987; 22(1):11-3. DOI:10.1016/S0022-3468(87)80005-2 · 1.31 Impact Factor