J Surg Res. 2019 Feb 2;238:16-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2018.11.034. [Epub ahead of print]
The Impact of Pediatric Surgical Specialty Meetings: A 5-year Analysis of Presented Abstracts.
Greig CJ1, Zhang L1, Armenia SJ1, Park CJ1, Fischer AC2, Caty MG1, Cowles RA3.
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Abstracts presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Surgery (AAP) and American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) meetings can be taken as a reasonable representation of academic activity in pediatric surgery. We sought to assess ongoing trends in pediatric surgical research by analyzing the scientific content of each association's yearly meeting.

Abstracts presented at AAP and APSA between 2009 and 2013 were identified from the final printed programs (n = 910). Video abstracts (n = 34) were excluded. Collected data included title, authors, classification (basic science/clinical), presentation type (podium/poster), and topic. Publication as a journal article was determined using the abstract title/authors in a PubMed search. Journal impact factors were recorded for each journal and a composite impact factor (CIF) was calculated by dividing the sum of impact factors by the published articles per meeting.

Number of abstracts presented, percentage published, abstract classifications, and presentation type remained consistent over the study period. The AAP meetings accepted a higher percentage of clinical abstracts: AAP 72.3 3.4% versus APSA 65.9 1.3%. The five most popular topics at both meetings were oncology, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, necrotizing enterocolitis, trauma, and appendicitis. The publication rate for clinical and basic science abstracts did not vary significantly over the study period, whereas CIFs were higher for basic science publications nearly every year. The percentage of podium abstracts published was significantly greater than poster abstracts, but no statistical difference in CIF was seen between podium- and poster-associated publications.

Abstracts accepted and presented at the two major pediatric surgical specialty meetings more commonly involve clinical studies with a trend away from basic science. Despite this, basic science abstracts tended to be published in higher impact journals. This study attempts to quantify the quality of pediatric surgical research and serves as a baseline for future comparison.

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