Numerous abstracts related to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are presented at national conferences in the USA.
The overall rate of publication of these abstracts as complete manuscripts is unknown.
Dr Joseph Feuerstein and colleagues reviewed abstracts submitted to the 2010 American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (AIBD), and the American Gastroenterological Association abstracts at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
Each abstract was reviewed manually by 2 authors for type of research, study design, patient population, and outcome.
Both PubMed and Google were then searched to determine whether the abstract was published as a full manuscript within five years of the conference.
Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis was carried out using Stata 14.1.
In total, the team reviewed 872 abstracts were reviewed.
The researchers found that 49% were published as complete manuscripts within five years of the conference.
The average length of time to publication was almost 2 years.
The team reported that 42% of abstracts from ACG, 58% from AIBD, and 23% from DDW were eventually published.
However, abstracts presented at DDW had the shortest time to publication compared to the other conferences.
The research team noted that factors predictive of eventual publication include number of authors, clinical research compared to basic and translational, and studies assessing drug safety with no adverse effects reported.
Dr Feuerstein's team concludes, "Nearly 50% of the abstracts presented at major gastroenterology conferences in the USA are published as full manuscripts 5 years after the conference."
"Further studies are needed to assess why so many abstracts are not published."