The citation of research presented at AAOS meetings has begun to occur in major orthopaedic textbooks. The authors express some concern that this may not be academically responsible as it limits peer review. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to determine indicators and rates for publication of research from the period 1999-2004.
A retrospective review of the shoulder and elbow sessions published and located through a Medline search between 1999-2004 was performed. The title and all authors were searched before declaring an abstract unpublished. Results were analyzed for rate of publication, time to publication, and factors appearing to have an impact on future publication. The publication rate identified was 58% overall, fluctuating little on a yearly basis. Cohort and title changed in nearly 1/3 of published articles. Statistically significant indicators of future publication included larger sample size and North American origin. Approximately three-quarters of published abstracts were clinical in nature.
The authors point out that a longer delay to publication was related to inconsistency between the abstract and article. They stress that peer review is still the standard for assessing quality of research. They conclude that citation of abstracts presented at the AAOS meeting is inappropriate until they have completed peer review for publication.