Analysis of conference abstract-to-publication rate in UK orthopaedic research.
Collier T., Roadley-Battin M., Darlow C., Chant P., Hing CB., Smith TO.
Presentation of research at orthopaedic conferences is an important component for surgical evidence-based practice. However, there remains uncertainty as to how many conference abstracts proceed to achieve full-text publication (FTP) for wider dissemination. This study aimed to determine the abstract-to-publication rate (APR) of research presented in the largest hip and knee orthopaedic meetings in the UK, and to identify predictive factors which influence the APR. All published abstracts (n=744) from the 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010 British Hip Society (BHS) and the 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 British Association for Surgery of the Knee (BASK) annual conference meetings were examined by four researchers independently. To determine whether abstracts had been published in full-text form, Google Scholar, Medline and EMBASE evidence databases were used to verify FTP status. Variables including sample size, statistical significance, grade of the first author, research affiliated institution and research design were extracted and analysed to identify whether these were associated with FTP. 176 out of 744 abstracts achieved FTP status (APR: 23.7%). Factors associated with FTP status included statistically significant results (P<0.01) and research design (P=0.02). Factors not associated included sample size, grade of the first author and research affiliated institution (P>0.05). APRs of the assessed BHS and BASK annual conference presentations are low in comparison to other scientific meetings. Encouragement should be provided to clinicians and academics to submit their work for publication to address this short fall, thereby enhancing the potential for full-text research publications to inform evidence-based orthopaedics.