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This article is the author's final published version in the North American Spine Society Journal, Volume 14, 2023, Article number 100227.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of North American Spine Society.


Background: Although scientific researchers aim to present their projects at academic conferences as a step toward publication, not all projects mature to become a peer-reviewed manuscript. The publication rate of meetings can be utilized to assess the quality of presented research. Our objective was to evaluate the contemporary publication rate of abstracts presented at spine conferences.

Methods: We reviewed annual meeting programs of North American Spine Society (NASS), Scoliosis Research Society (SRS), International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST), Spine Global Spine Congress (GSC), Lumbar Spine Research Society (LSRS), and Cervical Spine Research Society (CSRS) from 2017 to 2019. Abstracts were identified as published from PubMed and Google search. From published manuscripts, journal name and open access status was collected. Journal impact factors were collected from the 2021 Journal Citation Reports.

Results: A total of 3,091/5,722 (54%) abstracts were published, ranging from 44.5% to 66.3%. Publication rate of posters and podiums ranged from 39.8% to 64.8% and 51.6% to 67.2%, respectively. Podium presentations were more likely to be published than posters (59.6% vs. 47.2%, p<.001). Only NASS (61.4% vs. 61.8%) and LSRS (64.6% vs. 67.2%) demonstrated similar publication rates for posters and podiums. Award nominated abstracts had a significantly higher publication rate (68.0% vs. 53.4%, p<.001). Among journals with an impact factor, the median overall impact factor was 3.27 and was similar between all conferences except GSC, which was slightly lower (2.72 vs. 3.27, p<.001).

Conclusions: Fifty-four percent of abstracts were published with 3 societies (NASS, LSRS, and SRS) having rates of over 60%. Moreover, NASS and LSRS demonstrated high publication rates regardless of presentation type. These numbers are significantly higher than previous reports suggesting that these conferences allow attendees to review high quality evidence that is likely to achieve peer-reviewed publication while obtaining an early look at original research.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.