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From PSRC To Publication: An Analysis Of Publication Rates Of Abstracts Presented At Plastic Surgery Research Council Annual Meetings (psrc) From 2009-2019
Michael Ha, M.A. Cantab. M.B. B.Chir, Seray Er, BS, Matthew Moshyedi, BS, Yvonne Rasko, MD.
University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.

PURPOSE:
The presentation of new cutting-edge research studies at major meetings has the potential to guide surgical practices and optimize approaches to patient care. Plastic Surgery Research Council (PSRC) annual meetings provide an optimal platform for disseminating new information in the field of plastic surgery and presenting research abstracts to gain feedback prior to peer-reviewed publication. Nonetheless, many of the abstracts presented are never published. This study examines the publication rate (PR) of abstracts presented at the PSRC annual meetings and analyzes the potential factors impacting the conversion from abstract to paper. METHODS:
All presentations at the PSRC annual meetings held from 2009-2019 were assessed retrospectively. Abstracts were identified through the PRS Supplemental Journal via the online PSRC meeting archives. A comprehensive literature search was conducted cross-referencing PSRC abstracts with full-text publications in peer-reviewed manuscripts using PubMed and Google Scholar databases. Demographic data was extrapolated from the author sets. The conversion rate was calculated as the proportion of publications to abstracts. Changes in abstract to publication and location of publication were also extracted and analyzed. A meaningful discrepancy as any change in the directionality of an outcome, or a quantitative change in results exceeding 10%. RESULTS: A total of 2,330 abstracts were presented during the study period with an overall rate of publication of 68.5%, with often a third of publication occurring in the following 12 months since presentation (33%). The most common publication journal was Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (PRS) (29%), followed by Annals of Plastic Surgery (13%) and Journal of Craniofacial Surgery (9%). The number of abstracts presented range from 157 to 293 with 2016 having the fewest abstracts presented and 2019 having the greatest number of abstracts presented. The number of abstracts presented rose significantly between 2017 and 2018 from 168 to 258 (P<0.001). There has also been an increase in the number of female first authorships over the course of the study period from 19.4% in 2009 to 34.8% in 2019 (p<0.001). Changes from abstract to publication occurred in 48% of publications, most often a change in authorship or a minor change in sample or cohort size. A meaningful discrepancy change occurred in 21% of cases.
CONCLUSION:
A major factor impacting lack of conversion recently has been the inability to access laboratory/clinical spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has subsequently slowed research in many fields. Other factors impacting lack of conversion may include feedback during meetings suggesting study revisions and modifications, delays in the peer review process, and loss of follow-up by departments/divisions. Addressing these factors can lead to increased contribution of knowledge in the field of surgical research and further advancements in patient care.


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