Publication rates of abstracts presented at pediatric orthopaedic society of North America meetings between 2002 and 2006

J Pediatr Orthop. 2012 Mar;32(2):e6-e10. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0b013e3182468c6b.


Background: Earlier studies have indicated that across medical specialties, the overall publication rate of submitted manuscripts ranges from 36% to 66%. However, there have not been any recent studies conducted concerning the publication rates specifically for the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA). Consequently, the purpose of our study was to determine the overall publication rates of abstracts presented during the POSNA annual meetings, and whether there were differences in publication rates and time to publication according to type of presentation (podium vs. poster), journal, and orthopaedic subspecialty.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search using PubMed and Google Scholar for all abstracts (including podiums, posters, and e-posters) presented at the 2002 to 2006 POSNA annual meetings was performed. Abstracts were classified according to presentation type: podium, poster, or e-posters, and were subsequently categorized into a specific orthopaedic subspecialty: basic science, hip, lower extremities, spine, trauma, and upper extremity.

Results: A total of 762 abstracts were presented at POSNA meetings between the years of 2002 and 2006. Of these 762 abstracts, 386 (50.7%) were published in peer-reviewed literature. There was no significant variation in the yearly publication percentage rate between 2002 and 2006 (P=0.63). However, overall time between presentation at POSNA and publication in a peer-reviewed journal varied significantly by year (P=0.002), with the average time to publication being 29 months in 2002, compared with 18.8 months in 2006. Time to publication also varied significantly by journal (P=0.025). For the combined years of 2002 to 2006, podiums were 1.47 times (95% confidence interval, 1.10-1.98) more likely to be published compared with posters (P=0.009). When abstracts were stratified by subspecialty (trauma, spine, hip, basic science, lower extremity, and upper extremity), there was no difference in publication rate between each group (P=0.425) or in overall time to publication (P=0.354).

Conclusions: Our study indicated that there was a significant decrease in mean publication time between 2002 and 2006, which may support the notion that the process of accepting papers for publication has become more efficient with time. Furthermore, we found that there was a quantifiable difference in the overall publication rates for podium and poster presentations. The data suggest that the quality of poster and podium presentations are not equivalent. In addition, our study indicated that publication rates among pediatric orthopaedic subspecialties (trauma, spine, hip, basic science, lower extremity, and upper extremity) did not differ. This indicates that publication representation across all areas of pediatric orthopaedic practice is generally uniform.

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics
  • Congresses as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • North America
  • Orthopedics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pediatrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Periodicals as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Societies, Medical / statistics & numerical data*