Abstracts presented at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting: determinants of subsequent peer reviewed publication

J Urol. 2006 Dec;176(6 Pt 1):2624-9; discussion 2629. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2006.08.021.


Purpose: Abstracts submitted to medical meetings do not undergo the same critical peer review process as published manuscripts. Despite this limited scrutiny presented abstracts often influence clinical thinking and practice. Consequently the peer reviewed publication rate of abstracts becomes critical in judging the quality of this research. We determined this publication rate and factors influencing it.

Materials and methods: All 1,584 abstracts presented at the 2000 American Urological Association Annual Meeting were reviewed and assessed for subsequent publication with a fixed MEDLINE search protocol. We searched for publications from January 1, 1999 to May 31, 2005. Abstracts were deemed published if 1) at least 1 author of the presented abstract was a manuscript author and 2) at least 1 conclusion in the presented abstract was included in the final publication conclusions. Publication rates according to mode and topic of presentation, country or state of origin and time to publication were calculated. Journal impact factors for publications were compared according to these variables.

Results: Of presented abstracts from the 2000 American Urological Association meeting 55% went on to successful publication, including 59% of podium, 55% of poster, 55% of unmoderated poster and 42% of video presentations. Mean time from presentation to publication was 17 months. The average journal impact factor was 3.2.

Conclusions: A significant proportion of presentations at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting is never subjected to or fails the critical peer review process. The overall journal impact factor for published manuscripts is modest. Meeting attendees should consider these observations when deciding whether to incorporate the findings of presentations into their clinical practice.

MeSH terms

  • Abstracting and Indexing
  • Congresses as Topic* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Peer Review, Research
  • Periodicals as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Publishing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Societies, Medical / statistics & numerical data
  • United States
  • Urology