The Conversion of Cardiovascular Conference Abstracts to Publications
Background—The transition of scientific knowledge from discovery into practice is less than ideal. A key step in this translation occurs when presentations from major meetings are published in peer-reviewed literature, yet the completeness and speed of this process is not known. We performed a systematic and automated evaluation of rates, timing, and correlates of publication from scientific abstracts presented at three major cardiovascular conferences.
Methods and Results—Using an automated computer algorithm, we searched the ISI Web of Science to identify peer-reviewed publications of abstracts presented at the American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology (ACC), and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Scientific Sessions from 2006-2008. We compared abstract publication rates and journal impact factor between the three meetings: AHA, ACC, and ESC using multivariable logistic regression modeling. From 2006-2008, the number of abstracts presented at the AHA, ACC, and ESC were 11365, 5005, and 10838, respectively. Overall, 30.6% of presented abstracts were published within two years of the conference; ranging from 34.5% for AHA, 29.5% for ACC, and 27.0% for ESC (p<0.0001). Five years post-conference presentation in 2005, these rates had risen slightly to 49.7% for AHA, 42.6% for ACC, and 37.6% for ESC (p<0.0001). After adjusting for abstract characteristics and contributing countries, abstracts presented at the AHA remained more likely for publication relative to the ESC (adjusted OR 1.24 [95% CI, 1.16-1.34]) and the ACC (adjusted OR 1.20 [95% CI, 1.11-1.29]). Median impact factors for subsequent publications varied from 4.8 (Q1-Q3 3.8-10.1) for AHA, 4.0 (Q1-Q3 3.1-7.5) for ACC, to 3.9 (Q1-Q3 2.5-5.8) for ESC (p for difference between groups <0.01). Clinical science and population science were less likely to be published compared with basic science.
Conclusions—One-third of abstracts were translated into publications by two years post-presentation, and less than one-half by five years post-presentation. Our findings suggest that efforts to understand the barriers to publication and to facilitate the rapid dissemination of new knowledge are needed in order to speed up the transition of scientific discovery into clinical practice.
- Received May 25, 2012.
- Accepted October 24, 2012.
- Copyright © 2012, American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited