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Carey LC, Stretton S, Kenreigh CA, Wagner LT, Woolley KL.2016. High non publication rate from publication professionals hinders evidence-based publication practices. PeerJ PrePrints4:e1732v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.1732v1
Background. The need for timely, ethical, and high-quality reporting of clinical trial results has seen a rise in demand for publication professionals. These publication experts, who are not ghostwriters, work with leading medical researchers and funders around the world to plan and prepare thousands of publications each year. Despite the involvement of publication professionals in an increasing number of peer-reviewed publications, especially those that affect patient care, there is limited evidence-based guidance in the peer-reviewed literature on their publication practices. Similar to the push for editors and the peer-review community to conduct and publish research on publication ethics and the peer-review process, the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) has encouraged members to conduct and publish research on publication planning and practices. Our primary objective was to investigate the publication rate of research presented at ISMPP Annual Meetings. Methods. ISMPP Annual Meeting abstract lists (April 2009 to April 2014) were searched in November 2014 and data were extracted into a pilot-tested spreadsheet. MEDLINE was searched in December 2014 to determine the publication rate (calculated as the % of presented abstracts published as full papers in peer-reviewed journals). Data were analyzed using the Cochran-Armitage trend test (significance: P <.05) by an independent academic statistician. Results. From 2009 to 2014, there were 220 abstracts submitted, 185 accepted, and 164 presented. There were only four corresponding publications (publication rate 2.4%). Over time, ISMPP’s abstract acceptance rate (overall: 84.1%) did not change, but the number of abstracts presented increased significantly (P = .02). Most abstracts were presented as posters (81.1%) and most research was observational (72.6%). Most researchers came from the US (78.0%), followed by Europe (17.7%), and the Asia-Pacific region (11.2%). Discussion. Research presented at ISMPP Annual Meetings has rarely been published in peer-reviewed journals. The high-rate of non publication by publication professionals has now been quantified and is of concern. Publication professionals should do more to contribute to evidence‑based publication practices, including, and especially, their own. Unless the barriers to publication are identified and addressed, the practices of publication professionals, which affect thousands of peer-reviewed publications each year, will remain hidden and unproven.