Society for maternal-fetal medicine meeting presentations: What gets published and why?

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The purpose of this study was to determine the publication rate and factors influencing publication among presentations to the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) from 1991 through 2000.

Study design

Plenary presentations matched to an equal number of concurrent presentations were examined for publication rate and associated factors by univariable and multivariable analysis, respectively. The National Library of Medicine online library, PubMed, was searched for authors and/or subject to determine publication. Various characteristics of meeting abstracts were examined related to eventual publication.


There were 88 presentations in each group, with plenary presentations published at a higher rate (81% vs 56%, P = .004) and in more prominent journals (21% vs 1%, P < .001) than other presentations. This publication rate is higher than that reported for most other medical society meetings. Multivariable analysis identified prospective design, plenary presentation, and originality as independent predictors of publication.


The SMFM meeting selection process identifies presentations likely to be published, and therefore presumably of high quality. The overall publication rate of concurrent presentations appears to be better than that of many other medical society meetings.

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