What is the Ultimate Fate of Presented Abstracts? Conversion Rates of Presentations to International Publications from the 31st National Congress of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery
Objective: Oral and poster presentations held at national congresses are regarded as important means for sharing of latest scientific data and personal experiences. However, many ideas shared at annual conferences fail to be published. The objective of this study was to examine the publication rate of presentations held at the 31st National Congress of the Turkish Society of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons and to analyze various factors associated with publication. Material and Methods: The PubMed database was searched for peer-reviewed publications, corresponding to abstracts presented at the 2009 congress. For all abstracts, parameters including presentation type, topic, institution, author details, publication time, journal name, and impact factor were recorded. Collected data were analyzed using chi-square, Mann-Whitney U, and Kruskal-Wallis tests for statistical significance. Results: In five years 16.8% of 569 proceedings were published in international peer-reviewed journals. The mean time to publication following the congress was 22 months (1-57 months) for 75 presentations, whereas 21 proceedings had been published prior to the congress. Compared with posters, the publication rate for oral presentations was significantly greater (30.5% vs. 13.3%; p< 0.001). The type of institution had no significant effect on the publication rate. Conclusion: The overall publication rate for the 31st National Plastic Surgery Congress was found to be similar with other Turkish-based studies, but was somewhat lower than that of international counterparts. The significant difference found between the publication rates of oral and poster presentations was interpretted as a positive sign demonstrating a relatively higher level of scientific value and appeal.