African Journal of Paediatric Surgery

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Completion publication of abstracts presented at the scientific meetings of the pan-African pediatric surgical association

AA Nasir, EA Ameh, D Poenaru


Background: The expected knowledge translation from discovery into practice occurs when presentations from major scientifi c meetings are published in peerreviewed literature. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of complete publication of peerreviewed articles arising from presentations at the biennial meetings of the Pan-African Pediatric Surgical Association (PAPSA).

Materials and Methods: All the abstracts accepted for presentation at the biennial meeting of PAPSA between 2006 and 2010 were identifi ed from the conference abstract booklets and published abstracts in the African Journal of Paediatric Surgery. The presentations were searched for publication in Medline/PubMed, Google Scholar, and African Journal OnLine through October 2012, using key words from the abstract title and names of authors listed in the abstracts.

Results: A total of 164 abstracts were accepted for presentation, consisting of 118 (72%) oral/podium presentations and 46 (28%) poster presentations. One hundred and thirty-three abstracts (81.1%) came from African countries and 31 (18.9%) from outside Africa. Overall, 49 (29.9%) abstracts resulted in full-text publications in 20 peer-reviewed journals. Thirty-eight of the publications were from Africa (representing 28.6% of abstracts from Africa) and 11 from outside Africa (33.3% of abstracts from outside Africa). The median time to publication was 15 months [interquartile range (IQR) 5-26 months]. The publication rate was statistically signifi cantly correlated to the year of publication (P = 0.016) and the use of comparative statistics in the study (P = 0.005), but not to the study design, study subjects, or institution. The majority of the studies were published in the African Journal of Paediatric Surgery and Pediatric Surgery International (14 and 11 of the 49 reports, respectively). The H-index for international abstracts (median 35, IQR 35-76) was significantly higher than that of African abstracts (14, 3-35) (P = 0.002).

Conclusion: Only a third of abstracts presented at PAPSA biennial meetings were ultimately published in a peer-reviewed journal. Increased efforts to improve the publication rate and facilitate the rapid dissemination of new knowledge are needed.

Key words: Africa, pediatric surgery, publications, research, scientific meetings
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