Presentation of scientific research at national and international meetings is an important forum for the dissemination of knowledge. Subsequent publication of a full-text paper in a peer-reviewed journal is the expected outcome of such presentations. The publication rate from these meetings is highly variable. To determine the publication rate of abstracts presented at the Irish Orthopaedic Association's Annual Conference and to determine which factors are associated with progression to full-text publication. We reviewed the proceedings from the Irish Orthopaedic Association's National Meeting over a 4 year period. We searched the Pubmed database using author names, institution names, and keywords from each abstract's title, to determine how many presented articles progressed to full-text publication. Sixty-six of 203 were published, 97 % within 5 years of presentation. Laboratory based studies presenting novel or innovative findings were more likely to be published than clinical studies. Clinical studies were more likely to be published if they were prospective and had a longer period of follow-up. Retrospective audits were less likely to be published, even with a large cohort size. Changes in authorship of presented papers were related to a longer delay in time to full-text publication. Thorough planning of research studies is essential to ensure a timely progression to full-text publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Most studies will be published within 5 years of initial presentation.
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