The publication fate of presented abstracts at SBNS meetings over a 5-year period between 2001 and 2005 was performed.
To ascertain whether an abstract resulted in peer-reviewed publication, a range of databases (PubMed, Google Scholar, Medline and Ovid) were interrogated. Abstracts published in full were subsequently assessed for journal impact factor (IF), time of publication and number of citations received (per Google Scholar). Results. A total of 494 abstracts were presented. Of these, 181 abstracts were subsequently published in full, giving the conference a publication rate of 36.6%. The mean time to publication from presentation was 22 months (range 35 months pre-presentation to 133 months afterwards). The top three journals for publication were the British Journal of Neurosurgery (23.2%), Neurosurgery (7.7%) and Journal of Neurosurgery (7.7%). The IF of journal destinations ranged from no IF to 38.28 (median = 1.97). Number of citations ranged from 0 to 963 (median = 22). Abstracts with positive results were significantly more likely to be published in full compared to those with negative results (p = 0.0001). Conclusions. SBNS conferences have a respectable publication rate. Those abstracts that are published in full have gone on to gain a considerable number of citations reflecting their scientific relevance. However, studies presented at SBNS are susceptible to positive outcome bias 1).