Fate of abstracts presented at Association of Paediatric Surgeons of Nigeria annual meetings
Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the characteristics of abstracts presented at the annual scientific meetings of Association of Paediatric Surgeons of Nigeria and their final publication rate.
Materials and Methods: All abstracts accepted for presentation at the Association of Paediatric Surgeons of Nigeria meetings from 2004 to 2009 were identified from literature, search engines and other online materials. Abstracts accepted for the meetings but not presented during the meetings were excluded.
Results: A total of 153 abstracts were examined, of which 52 (34%) resulted in publication in peer-reviewed journals. Median time from presentation to publication was 2 years (range 1–5 years). The median number of abstracts presented per year was 30 (range 25–40). About three quarters of abstracts were presented by consultants (114, 74.5%) and 39 (25.4%) by surgical trainees. Approximately threequarters of the abstracts were case series (111, 75.8%). Case reports accounted for 22.8% of the abstracts. Thirty-two (39.5%) of 81 retrospective studies, 8/31 (25.8%) prospective studies, and 11/35 (31.4%) case reports were converted to full publication (P = 0.403). Abstracts on surgical infection, paediatric surgical oncology, and gastrointestinal tract had the highest publication rates (54.5% [6/11], 46.2% [6/13], and 33.3% [22/66], respectively, P = 0.237). The largest numbers of the reports were published in the African Journal of Paediatric Surgery (16 of 48; 33%), the official Journal of the Association.
Conclusions: Only a third of presented abstracts were subsequently published in peer-reviewed journals. Effort to encourage the publication rates of presented abstracts by improving quality of research work as well as encouraging preconference submission of fulllength articles for accepted abstracts, for publication in a conference supplement of the Association’s journal is advised.
Key words: Abstracts, APSON, paediatric surgeons, presentations, publication rate