Background: Research presented at scientific meetings is inaccessible to clinicians, unless the findings are subsequently published in a journal.
Aims: To assess the publication rate of studies presented at 10 European General Practice Research Network (EGPRN) meetings between 1999 and 2006.
Methods: Survey by e-mail or postal questionnaire among all presenters.
Results: Information was obtained on 251 presentations (response rate 60%). In total, 113 out of these 251 (45%) presentations had been published. However, only 60% of the research findings were published in English Medline-listed journals, whereas 20% were not Medline-listed. The most frequently cited reason for non-publication was that the paper had not been submitted yet at time of follow up (103 responses). The main reason for non-submission was that the research presented had not been completed yet.
Conclusion: Presentations at EGPRN meetings commonly concern research ideas or ongoing research. In this light, the ratio of published work to presented work compares well with the corresponding ratios found for international meetings in other specialist fields. This survey was also meant as an audit of the EGPRN meetings and gives better insight in needs for future strategy.