Factors influencing publication of abstracts presented at the AAO-HNS Annual Meeting

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To examine abstracts presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) Annual Meeting and to identify factors associated with publication success.


All abstracts published in the August 1999 official program issue of the AAO-HNS Journal were examined. MEDLINE searches were performed to assess publication success. Multivariate analysis was performed to identify factors related to successful publication.


We identified 473 abstracts, of which 260 (55%) were poster presentations. Median publication time was 16 months, with a publication rate of 50%. Multivariate analysis revealed oral presentation, statistical analysis, and number of authors to be the most significant predictive factors of publication success (odds ratios of 2.2, 1.9, and 1.2 respectively). Level of evidence did not correlate with publication success, even when case reports (n = 70) were excluded from the analysis. Publication rates in other disciplines ranged from 25% to 68%, with a mean of 47%.


The rate of publication from the AAO-HNS Annual Meeting is similar to other disciplines. Oral presentations with inferential statistics in the abstract were most likely to be published. Conversely, level of evidence and direction of study inquiry were not significant predictors, suggesting that research design is a less important determinant of publication success.


Our investigation is one of the first to critically analyze the factors in presentations at annual meetings that predict successful publication.

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