Authors report lack of time as main reason for unpublished research presented at biomedical conferences: A systematic review

Roberta W. Scherer, Cesar Ugarte-Gil, Christine Schmucker, Joerg J. Meerpohl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Objectives To systematically review reports that queried abstract authors about reasons for not subsequently publishing abstract results as full-length articles. Study Design and Setting Systematic review of MEDLINE, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, ISI Web of Science, and study bibliographies for empirical studies in which investigators examined subsequent full publication of results presented at a biomedical conference and reasons for nonpublication. Results The mean full publication rate was 55.9% [95% confidence interval (CI): 54.8%, 56.9%] for 24 of 27 eligible reports providing this information and 73.0% (95% CI: 71.2%, 74.7%) for seven reports of abstracts describing clinical trials. Twenty-four studies itemized 1,831 reasons for nonpublication, and six itemized 428 reasons considered the most important reason. "Lack of time" was the most frequently reported reason [weighted average = 30.2% (95% CI: 27.9%, 32.4%)] and the most important reason [weighted average = 38.4% (95% CI: 33.7%, 43.2%)]. Other commonly stated reasons were "lack of time and/or resources," "publication not an aim," "low priority," "incomplete study," and "trouble with co-authors." Conclusions Across medical specialties, the main reasons for not subsequently publishing an abstract in full lie with factors related to the abstract author rather than with journals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-810
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Volume68
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Keywords

  • Conference abstract
  • Manuscript
  • Nonpublication
  • Publication
  • Publication bias
  • Selection bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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