Background—The transition of scientific knowledge from discovery into practice is less than ideal. A key step in this translation occurs when presentations from major meetings are published in peer-reviewed literature, yet the completeness and speed of this process are not known. We performed a systematic and automated evaluation of rates, timing, and correlates of publication from scientific abstracts presented at 3 major cardiovascular conferences. Methods and Results—Using an automated computer algorithm, we searched the ISI Web of Science to identify peer-reviewed publications of abstracts presented at the American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology (ACC), and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) scientific sessions from 2006 to 2008. We compared abstract publication rates and journal impact factor between the 3 meetings using multivariable logistic regression modeling. From 2006 to 2008, 11 365, 5005, and 10 838 abstracts were presented at the AHA, ACC, and ESC meetings, respectively. Overall, 30.6% of presented abstracts were published within 2 years of the conference; ranging from 34.5% for AHA to 29.5% for ACC to 27.0% for ESC (P0.0001). Five years after conference presentation in 2005, these rates had risen slightly to 49.7% for AHA, 42.6% for ACC, and 37.6% for ESC (P0.0001). After adjustment for abstract characteristics and contributing countries, abstracts presented at the AHA meeting remained more likely for publication relative to the ESC (adjusted odds ratio, 1.24; 95% confidence interval, 1.16–1.34) and the ACC (adjusted odds ratio, 1.20; 95% confidence interval, 1.11–1.29). Median impact factors for subsequent publications varied from 4.8 (interquartile range, 3.8–10.1) for AHA to 4.0 (interquartile range, 3.1–7.5) for ACC and 3.9 (quartile 1–3, 2.5–5.8) for ESC (P for difference between groups 0.01). Clinical science and population science were less likely to be published compared with basic science. Conclusions—One third of abstracts were translated into publications by 2 years after presentation and less than one half by 5 years after presentation. Our findings suggest that efforts to understand the barriers to publication and to facilitate the rapid dissemination of new knowledge are needed to speed up the transition of scientific discovery into clinical practice.
Circulation, 2012, Vol 126, Issue 24, p. 2819-2825