Our objective was to determine the proportion of publications arising from abstracts presented at the Quebec Urological Association (QUA). We wanted to analyze differences in publication rates according to certain parameters, and to examine the quality of publications using journal impact factors.
All abstracts presented at the annual meetings of the QUA between 2000 and 2010 were obtained from the QUA archives and searched using the PubMed database. Variables included: institute, number of abstracts presented, year of presentation and publication, impact factor of publishing journal (according to 2010 Thomson Reuters report), time to publication (months), research type, presenter and location of research. Kaplan Meier methods were used for analysis.
By May 2012, 248 out of 439 abstracts (QUA 2000 to 2010) were published in peer-reviewed journals, resulting in a publication rate of 56%. There were significant differences in publication rates according to institution, research type and location of research. Researchers from non-Quebec institutions were twice as likely to publish compared to those from Quebec institutions (Cox HR 2.13, CI 1.20–3.76, p < 0.01).
The QUA publication rate was considerably higher than previously studied by the American Urological Association (37.8%) and British Association of Urological Surgeons (≈42%); however length of follow-up and presentation types differed. Research conducted outside Quebec was more likely to be published, reflecting the multi-institution robust study designs and higher level of evidence. Factors influencing publication deserve further attention, and clinicians are encouraged to conduct research with intent to publish.