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The aims of this study were as follows: 1) to determine publication rate, time to publication, and study design of poster presentations accepted at the National Congress of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (NCCAP) and converted to publication and the degree of first author in a published article and journal index and 2) to investigate the relationship of these data with each other.
The poster presentations of four congresses organized between 2005 and 2008 were investigated separately. The presentations were screened by taking into account the title and the first and second author in English and Turkish languages via PubMed and Google Academic databases. Published studies, time between presentation and publishing date, study design, degree of first author, and journal index of these studies were recorded.
Fifty-four (25.2%) of 214 poster presentations were published in international and national peer-reviewed journals. Of the published articles, 74.1% (n=40) were research type and 61.1% (n=33) were found in the Science Citation Index (SCI) and Science Citation Index-Expanded (SCI-E) peer-reviewed journals. The first author in 42.6% (n=23) of published articles were assistant professors. The average time between presentation and publishing date was 30.72±18.89 months. Statistical differences were not determined between publication rate and study design; between time to publication and study type/study design, degree of first author, and journal index; and between journal index and study design and degree of first author (p>0.05). It was found that research articles were published significantly more by teaching staff than experts and other researchers (p<0.05).
Compared with literature data, it was found that the time to publication was longer while the publication rate was similar for poster presentations in our congresses. Based on these results, it is important to create necessary conditions and encourage the researchers to publish the poster presentations presented in NCCAP.
A good amount research is planned and their data are shared with scientific environments in Turkey and around the world (1). One of the most important scientific environments is congresses held at the national level (2). In these congresses, data of recent research are reported in the form of an oral or poster presentation. Subsequently, these presentations are published in scientific journals as the natural result of the research process (2).
The desired end point of scientific research is publication of the study. For a presentation presented at a congress to be accepted as valid, reliable, and useful in clinical practice, it is believed that it must be published as a full-text article in peer-reviewed journals (3). The publication rate of presentations which are presented at a scientific congress and subsequently published in peer-reviewed journals reflects the scientific quality of studies and the congress itself (2,4). However, it is observed that many of the presentations presented at congresses in Turkey and abroad have not achieved the goal of publication, and the publication rates of presentations vary from 13% to 74% (1,2,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13). The rate of publication is generally between 40% and 50% (14). Currently, no publications on this issue in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry have been encountered.
The National Congress of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (NCCAP) has been organized regularly since 1991. The congress is one of the important platforms where new methods and practices related to the profession of child and adolescent psychiatry are discussed, professional strategies are determined, and new projects arise, thereby strengthening professional and social associations. Child and adolescent psychiatrists actively participate and present their presentations at NCCAP, where an average of 40–70 poster presentations is presented per year.
Based on the poster presentations accepted at NCCAP, the aim of this study was to investigate the data of publication rate, time to publication, study design, academic degree of the first author in the published article, journal index, and the relationship of these data with each other.
The poster presentations of four congresses held in 2005–2008 were separately investigated in booklets of these congresses (15,16,17,18). Although no oral presentations were included at the 2005, 2006, and 2007 congresses and in the congress booklets, a total of nine oral presentations were presented at the 2008 congress and were found in the 2008 booklet (15,16,17,18). Because only one booklet with a small number of oral presentations was available, oral presentations were excluded from the study. The poster presentations were searched by taking into account the first and second author and the title in English and Turkish languages via PubMed and Google Academic databases in March 2013. The databases were screened for the name of the first author. If a related publication was not found, screening was continued for the name of the second author. The order in which the names were entered was as follows: last name and first name and then last name and the initial of the first name. Subsequently, considering their titles, the poster presentations were screened once more. During screening, publications were encountered that were similar but not identical with the poster presentations. Even though the author’s name was added or removed, the publications which had the same or a similar title, study protocols, or result reviews with those in poster presentations were considered to be compatible. The type of studies (research and case), the length of time between the poster presentation and publication, the index of the journal which published the article, [Science Citation Index (SCI), Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), Science Citation Index-Expanded (SCIE), national and international peer-reviewed journals], and the academic degree (Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Expert, other degree) of the first author at the time of publication were recorded. The pressing date of the article in the journal was considered to be the publication date, and the first author recorded in the published article was accepted as being the first author. In the study, cases and series of cases in the form of presentations and publications were classified as “case,” while all other presentations and publications were accepted as “research.” In the study, articles in SCI and SSCI journals were evaluated under the title of “SCI,” and articles published in national or international peer-reviewed journals not associated with SCI, SSCI, and SCIE were evaluated under the title of “other.” The term “other degree” was used to describe researchers who are research assistants or university graduate researchers without an academic degree, such as professor, associate professor, assistant professor, and expert. Expert researchers who were employed by a university at the time of publication were recorded as “expert lecturers.” During the screening, no studies published before the congress began were encountered. Because a major portion of the publications took place within 4–5 years and our study included poster presentations, the last year of our study was planned to be 2008.
The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 15.0 program (SPSS Inc., Chicago IL, USA) was used to statistically analyze the data. Data were expressed as mean±standard deviation and as percentages. Research and case types for poster presentations, SCI/SCI-E and other journal indexes, and teaching and non-teaching staff for first author degree were used in groups of pairs for the statistical analysis. The distribution of the data was monitored by the Kolmogorov–Smirnov method. The chi-square test was used to compare categorical variables, and the Mann–Whitney U-test was used to compare continuous variables. Statistical significance was accepted at the p<0.05 level.
A total of 214 poster presentations which were accepted in NCCAP were evaluated. Of the poster presentations, 65.9% (n=141) were research type and 25.2% (n=54) were published in either national or international peer-reviewed journals. Publication rates were found to be 28.4% for research type presentations and 19.2% for case type presentations. Of the published articles, 74.1% (n=40) were research type and 61.1% (n=33) were published in journals cited by SCI and SCI-E. The greatest number of poster presentations accepted (n=64) and the highest publication rate (29.7%) were determined in the 2006 congress (Table 1). First authors who wrote 23 of the published articles (42.6%) were assistant professors; 16 (69.6%) of those articles were published in journals cited by SCI and SCI-E (Table 2).
No statistical differences were determined with respect to publication rates and journal indexes (p=0.193 and p=0.501, respectively) between research and case type studies published. Research type articles within published poster presentations were published significantly more by teaching staff than by expert and other researchers (p=0.019) (Table 3). No significant difference for articles published in journals cited by SCI and SCI-E was determined between teaching staff and expert and other researchers (p=0.438) (Table 4).
The average time between poster presentation and publishing date was found 30.72±18.89 (range 4–74) months (Table 5). Of the poster presentations, 48% were published within 2 years, 63% within 3 years, 77.7% within 4 years, and 94.4% within 5 years. No statistical differences for time to publication were determined between research and case type poster presentations, between teaching staff and experts and other researchers, and between articles published in journals cited by SCI or SCI-E and those published in other journals (p=0.828, p=0.368, and p=0.811, respectively) (Table 6).
Our study was the first research which examined the publication rate and time of poster presentations of a congress in the field of mental health and investigated study design, journal index, and academic degree of first authors that could be related to these results. Compared with data from national or international congresses, the publication rate of poster presentations at our congress was similar; however, the time to publication was longer. With respect to the time to publication, no significant difference was observed irrespective of whether the study design was a research or case type, whether the first author was a teaching staff or not, and whether the journal was cited by indexes or not.
The publication rate of the poster presentations presented at NCCAP held in the years from 2005 to 2008 was found to be 25.2% on PubMed and Google Academic databases. In the field of child and adolescent psychiatry, because there has been no study conducted on this issue, our results could not be compared with the results of other congresses. When the publication rates of poster presentations at congresses in other fields of expertise were examined, the rate for international congresses were between 14% and 39% (7,9,10,11,12,19,20) and the rate for those in our country was reported to be between 1.4% and 11.9% (2,21). While the publication rate in our study was similar with the rate of international congresses, this was higher than those of congresses held in our country. This situation may be explained by the distribution of the number of case and research type studies in our study being similar to those at international congresses and the fewer number of case studies at national congresses.
Although the publication rate of research poster presentations (28.4%) was higher than case poster presentations (19.2%), no differences between the two groups were found. In the literature, it is stated that the publication rates of research and case type presentations at an international congress are 52% and 5% and for national congresses are 20.6% and 9.7%, 24% and 14.6%, respectively (2,22,23). In studies evaluating the publication rates of both oral and poster presentations at international congresses, the publication rates of case presentations were determined to be 6.7% and 18%, respectively (24,25). Unlike our study, publication rates of research type studies were reported to be significantly better than those of case type studies (2,26,27). While Harris et al. (28) reported, similar to our study, that the study design did not affect the publication rate, Nader et al. (10) showed that observational case series studies were more likely to be published in international journals. A significant indifference in our study for the publication rates between two types of study design suggests that research and case type poster presentations have similar importance during the publication process.
Of the poster presentations that were published, 61.1% (33/54) and 65% of research type (26/40) were published in SCI and/or SCI-E journals, respectively. In our country, in a study of Kalyoncu et al. (23) in the field of rheumatology, it was reported that except for case poster presentations, 94% of all published poster presentations appeared in indexed journals. The low rate of publication found in our study for SCI and/or SCI-E journals may be due to the smaller number of indexed journals in the field of psychiatry. Our study also did not find any differences associated with whether articles published in SCI and/or SCI-E journals were research or case studies or whether the first author was a teaching staff. This suggests that presentations in our study are weaker from the aspect of their scope and methodology, which makes them difficult to be published in an indexed journal. In addition, it may be thought that authors may have presented their studies and were given special consideration at an international congress.
A significant number of first authors of the articles published were assistant professors and experts, and the rates of being the first author were similar between the two groups (43% and 41%, respectively). Compared to experts and other researchers, teaching staff published more research type poster presentations when they were the first authors of the studies. It may also be thought that both groups show the same motivation and desire for the study planning, writing, and publishing in indexed journals; however, the desire and enthusiasm of teaching staff to publish research type studies was more powerful. The greater number of published case studies authored by experts, research assistants, or university graduate researchers may be explained by the conditions of our country, where they play an active role in outpatient services and are more motivated to evaluate interesting cases that they encounter rather than research planning.
The average length of time between the dates of a poster presentation and its publication was found to be 30.7 months. The length of this period was not affected by whether the study was a research type or not, whether the first author was a teaching staff or not, or whether the publishing journal was indexed or not. The publication times for poster presentations in other studies were reported to be 18.6 months, 24 months, and 36.01 months (9,12,26). They were found to be 22 months, 22.5 months, 15.4 months, and 1.3 years in other studies, including oral presentations (2,6,8,9). This publication time is generally recognized to be 17–20 months (14). The length of time for publication of poster presentations in our study was longer than those from other congresses. This difference may be attributed to a number of reasons, including rapid preparation of the poster presentation before the congress and subsequent problems that may be encountered during the publication process, heavy workloads, insufficient time for practical research, and small number of journals dedicated to child and adolescent psychiatry. Long length of time for publication is reported to be specifically associated with a lack of sufficient time and the researchers’ lack of interest (7). Furthermore, submission of studies in order from high-impact factor journals to low-impact factor journals; time loss in journals to which studies are submitted; and author’s insufficient level of English, which is generally the official language of journals, are additional important factors that contribute to extend the period of publication (7,10,29,30,31).
It is reported that the majority of congress presentations are generally published within 2 years, and more than 90% appear in publications within 4 years (7,14,26,32). A meta-analysis of studies showed that a vast number of studies were published within 5 years after presentation at congresses (5). In our study, it was found that 48.1% of the articles were published within 2 years, 63% within 3 years, 77.7% within 4 years, and 94.4% within 5 years. No examples of a study that showed publication rate over the years of poster presentation being published were encountered. In studies which evaluated both oral and poster presentations combined, it was revealed that of published articles, 69%–82% were published within the first 2 years, 82%–91% within the first 3 years, 93%–97% within the first 4 years, and 91% within the first 5 years (2,11,19,25). In our study, the rates for articles published each year were low according to data from these studies and seemed to reach rates of the previous studies after nearly a year. This delayed time of publication may be related to the lack of oral presentations at congresses between 2005 and 2007 when it is considered that length of time to publication is shorter for oral presentations than for poster presentations according to these studies. The submission of oral presentations at our congress may contribute to increase the rate of publication as well as to shorten the time to publication (8,13,33).
Despite its many findings, our study did include some limitations. Firstly, only PubMed and Google Academic databases were screened for the data. International databases such as EMBASE and Cochrane and national databases such as TUBITAK’s National Medical Database and Psychiatry Index Database of The Psychiatric Association of Turkey were not utilized in this study. An International database was screened for presentations presented at a national congress. Because of not using a national database available in our country, we could have failed to determine some congress poster presentations which were published in our country. Secondly, the publication status of articles from which the first and second authors had been removed could not have been determined because of screening the study only for these authors. Obtaining the publication data of presentations by contacting the authors could have increased the validity of the study.
NCCAP has accepted oral presentations and this has been performed since 2008. In the future, studies including data of conversion to publication for oral and poster presentations presented in NCCAP are required. In addition, this data should be created by examining more comprehensive databases. To interpret contributions of NCCAP to literature in a healthier way, studies including data of publication for presentations submitted to international congresses in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry should be performed.
In conclusion, compared to the studies in literature, the similar rate of publication and the longer time to publication indicate that child and adolescent psychiatrists are experiencing difficulty in navigating the stages necessary in having their presentations published. To shorten the length of time for publishing articles in this field, arrangements such as creating time for research and setting auxiliary units that can provide support throughout all the stages of research (planning, data collection, analysis, writing, and publishing) can be performed. Prizes could be awarded for studies that are presented at a congress and published in an indexed journal. To boost the quality of studies and published articles, an infrastructure for multi-center studies can be established besides integration of case study presentations or studies with joint themes. It is important to create necessary conditions and encourage the researchers to publish poster presentations presented in NCCAP.
Conflict of Interest: No conflict of interest was declared by the authors.
Financial Disclosure: The authors declared that this study has received no financial support.