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Can J Anaesth. 1993 Jul;40(7):632-4.

Publication of abstracts presented at anaesthesia meetings.

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Department of Anaesthesia, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


To determine the publication rate of abstracts as peer-reviewed manuscripts during the five years subsequent to their presentation, the rates of publication of abstracts that were presented at meetings of four anaesthesia societies (American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS), Anaesthesia Research Society (ARS) and Canadian Anaesthetists' Society (CAS), in 1985 were determined. Abstracts (total = 215) from each of the four meetings were selected (ASA n = 114/573 total, IARS n = 39/119, ARS n = 33/99 and CAS n = 29/58) and their appearances in the literature as peer-reviewed manuscripts were determined using MEDLINE for the years 1985 to 1990 under the surname of the presenting author. The contents of the abstracts were compared with those of the resultant manuscripts. The proportions of abstracts from each of the four societies that were published as manuscripts were compared. We found that the mean proportion of abstracts from all four societies that were published as manuscripts within three years of presentation was 44% and within five years 50%. The proportions of abstracts that were published as manuscripts from the four societies were similar. Of the abstracts that were published as manuscripts, 13% from the ASA, 16% from the IARS, 16% from the ARS and 0% from the CAS were published four or five years after abstract presentation. Although the overall proportion of abstracts that was published within five years of presentation did not differ from the rate of publication within three years, we recommend that a uniform policy with respect to the time interval for citation of abstracts be adopted for all anaesthesia journals.

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