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Jornal Vascular Brasileiro

versão impressa ISSN 1677-5449versão On-line ISSN 1677-7301

J. vasc. bras. v.7 n.4 Porto Alegre dez. 2008 



Indexed publications generated from abstracts of angiology and vascular surgery congresses in Brazil



Winston Bonetti YoshidaI; Nicole França HolmoII; Gabriela Tieme CorreglianoII; Karina Marcellino BaldonII; Núbia de Souza e SilvaII

IAssistant professor, Department of Surgery and Orthopedics, Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu, Universidade Estadual Paulista "Júlio de Mesquita Filho" (UNESP), Botucatu, SP, Brazil.
IIMedical students, 3rd year, Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu, UNESP, Botucatu, SP, Brazil.





BACKGROUND: Great part of the scientific production presented in congresses is not published. Even in developed countries, figures show an expressive difference between presentations and publications.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the number of published and indexed articles, based on available national and international databases, searching for titles and authors of papers and panels from Brazilian vascular surgery congresses held in 2001 and 2003.
METHODS: Searches were performed on the abstracts presented on the XXXIV Brazilian Congress of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, in 2001, and XXXV Congress of Angiology and Vascular Surgery in 2003, respectively 541 and 567 presentations. A computerized search was performed using the following databases: Scirus, Bireme, LILACS, SciELO, MEDLINE-PubMed, Cochrane, Google Scholar and Jornal Vascular Brasileiro indexes. The articles were classified as national or international and as original or modified.
RESULTS: Twenty-one (3.89%) and 49 (8.64%) articles from the Brazilian Congresses of Vascular Surgery of 2001 and 2003 were found, respectively. The average publication rate of papers presented in both congresses was 6.32%.
CONCLUSIONs: The number of publications in this sample show how much research in Brazil is put aside. Many papers are not published because of lack of priority and tradition in writing, lack of time, effort and encouragement.

Keywords: Research, meeting abstracts, authorship and co-authorship in scientific publications.


CONTEXTO: Grande parte da produção científica apresentada em congressos não é publicada. Mesmo nos países do primeiro mundo, os números demonstram que essa perda é expressiva.
OBJETIVO: Dimensionar o número de artigos publicados e indexados em bases de dados nacionais e internacionais, a partir dos títulos e autores de temas livres ou painéis dos congressos brasileiros de cirurgia vascular de 2001 e 2003.
MÉTODOS: Foram pesquisados os 541 e 567 resumos apresentados, respectivamente, no XXXIV Congresso Brasileiro de Angiologia e Cirurgia Vascular, em 2001 e no XXXV Congresso de Angiologia e Cirurgia Vascular, em 2003. Foi realizada pesquisa computadorizada através dos seguintes instrumentos de busca: Scirus, Bireme, LILACS, SciELO, MEDLINE-PubMed e Biblioteca Cochrane, Google Acadêmico e índices remissivos e onomásticos do Jornal Vascular Brasileiro. Os artigos foram classificados em internacionais ou nacionais e em completos ou modificados.
RESULTADOS: Foram encontrados 21 (3,89%) e 49 (8,64%) artigos publicados, a partir dos congressos de 2001 e 2003, respectivamente. A média de publicação dos dois congressos foi de 6,32%.
CONCLUSÕES: Os números revelados nessa amostra revelam o quanto a publicação das pesquisas no Brasil é relegada a segundo plano. Muitos trabalhos deixam de ser publicados pela falta de prioridade e tradição em escrever, falta de tempo, empenho e de incentivo.

Palavras-chave: Pesquisa, resumos de reunião, autoria e co-autoria na publicação científica.




Congresses, both national and international, gather the academic medical community in search of knowledge, updating and enhancement, and are extremely efficacious to promote science, important to improve medical practice.1,2 Oral presentations of papers and exposure of panels in congresses contribute to the disclosure of national and international updated studies, directly to congress participants, or occasionally by retransmitting knowledge through peers or other means. Although valid, comprehensiveness of such disclosure is limited to a small community that attended the congress session and restricted to a few rooms, since many activities occur at the same time during a congress. Subsequent publication of the study presented in the congress in indexed journals is important and necessary to consolidate the quality of scientific investigation and broaden information reach, in addition to validating and making it long-lasting.1-5

Construction of a research project based on an idea, ethical approval, funding, data collection, and writing is a hard task that needs to be shared by the community. In fact, this is an obligation of research toward the scientific community.2

Publication contributes for the dissemination of knowledge, since it provides more exposure to the public than in any congress room; it can be analyzed by readers with more time and detail, valuing the authors, their institutions or services, besides fulfilling an ethical duty to those responsible for the study and its participants.1 Published articles can be cited by other authors, improving the impact of journals and encouraging new studies and findings.3

There has been considerable advance and growth in the Brazilian scientific production over the past decades, confirmed by publications qualified by indexation in the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI, Philadelphia, PA, USA). Among the 30 best countries in science worldwide (which account for 90% of this production), Brazil's growth was only lower than that of a few countries in this group, which also had exceptional growth: South Korea, Taiwan, China, Spain, and Turkey.6

However, such numbers could be considerably higher, since a large part of papers, especially those presented at conferences, are not being published, and remain in the authors' drawers.7 Such aspect, called lost science of the Third World,6 has been discussed in several editorials. It has not been different for the vascular surgery and angiology specialty. There is a great interest by authors in presenting their scientific production as papers and panels, but the most important destination – publication – does not usually happen. This problem is not limited to Brazil. Such a loss has been measured for some specialties in developed countries, and figures are impressive.3 For vascular surgery and angiology in Brazil, this type of research has not been found in the literature.

Therefore, this study was conducted with the aim of measuring the number of published papers through a search in databases of national and international indexers based on titles and authors of papers and panels1 in Brazilian congresses of angiology and vascular surgery from 2001 to 2003.



Analyzed abstracts were part of the XXXIV Brazilian Congress of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, held in 2001 in Porto Alegre (RS), and XXXV Brazilian Congress of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, held on October 5-10, 2003 in Salvador (BA).

A computerized survey was performed to confirm publication of papers and panels in journals and books in the following search sites: Scirus, Bireme, LILACS, SciELO, MEDLINE-PubMed and Cochrane Library, Google Scholar and keyword and name index of Jornal Vascular Brasileiro. The search did not include EMBASE search site due to access restrictions, as it was not available at our institution. The study was performed between March and December 2007, and all articles and chapters published until December 2007 were included. Titles of papers presented in the congresses were used to perform the search.8 For each title found, there should be part of the authors that had their name identified in the congress paper, and one should be the first author. In case one or more authors were missing, or if there were new authors, the title was not discarded, but it was classified as modified study. Modified studies were also those that had their titles slightly changed, but abstract and content remained the same. Complete studies were those that had identical title, authors and abstract. Articles were classified into two categories: international and national, which could be complete or modified.



Of 541 and 567 abstracts presented in the XXXIV Brazilian Congress of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, held in 2001, and XXXV Brazilian Congress of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, held in 2003, 70 articles were published, i.e., 6.32% of all papers and panels. Table 1 shows results according to congress and type of publication.


Table 1 - Click to enlarge



Congresses that were held 6 and 4 years ago,9 respectively, were chosen to broaden the identification of all abstracts that were published entirely or modified in the vascular literature until 2007, when this study was conducted. The 4-year interval allowed increasing the possibility of finding some occasional publications. Previous congresses were not relevant for the study because, as shown by other publications, most abstracts are published as a complete study in up to 5 years after congress presentations. In a comparison of similar articles, the time span for publication ranged between 3 and 5 years.5,8,10

The complete title of each article was used because the objective was to find the respective study, and not only those related to the topic. Once found, authors and title similarity were analyzed. Research based on complete titles instead of keywords was chosen with the aim of identifying articles related to the topic and, at the same time, focus on those that could serve the purpose of this study. Articles were classified as complete or modified. The former referred to articles whose title and authors were identical in the congress proceedings and in the published article. The second group included articles that had changes, such as removal and/or inclusion of authors and/or slight change in the title.

Sprague et al. used as a research method the first, middle and last name of authors listed in the abstracts and, when multiple publications by a given authors were found, combined keywords with author names to define the article.11,12 When no publications were found, the first author was contacted by e-mail1 or fax to clarify the reasons why his article had not been published.12 This study did not investigate causes of lack of publication,4 because, in addition to communication difficulties with the authors, the sample was larger than that of Sprague et al.

To increase the likelihood of finding articles, our search was expanded to LILACS, SciELO, Scirus, Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, and summaries of Jornal Vascular Brasileiro, besides MEDLINE, differently from other studies, which restricted the search to a given indexer (usually MEDLINE Plus).1,4,5,8,10,11

Results found in Brazil, compared to those found in the USA and in other countries, were quite contrasting. In average there was 48.5% of publications among different surveys in the international community4,8,9,11 (Table 2). Specifically in the study by Sprague et al.,12 of 465 abstracts in orthopedics, 159 (34.2%) were published, which was considered by the authors as much lower than the expected rate. The Brazilian production of vascular papers and panels, although being one of the highest, resulted in few publications (6.32%). The possibility of having an underestimated statistics was not discarded, since some studies might have been published in journals that were not indexed in the search system.4 However, contrast between frequencies was marked. There is a clear barrier against publication among angiologists and vascular surgeons in Brazil, clearly reflecting a disregard for the preparation of articles in comparison with the scientific community worldwide.


Table 2 - Click to enlarge


Reasons for having few publications found by Sprague et al. were:

1) Lack of time to prepare the manuscript (46.5%)4,9,11,12;

2) Ongoing study (31.0%)12,17;

3) Co-author is responsible for preparation (19.7%);

4) Co-author is not collaborative (16.9%);

5) Publication is not a priority (12.9%)4,11;

6) Study is limited in terms of sample or methodology (12.7%)12,17;

7) Other similar studies have been published (4.2%);

8) Initial submission and resubmission refused by another journal (4.2%);

9) Results are not important (1.4%)17;

10) Impossible to perform statistical analysis (1.4%);

11) Little interest by readers (1.4%);

12) Different version of published data (1.4%).11

Claiming lack of time is more frequent and common among international authors and should possibly be the same for Brazilians. However, difference in terms of number of publications is very expressive, as can be seen in Table 2. It cannot be said that Brazilian authors have less time than Americans or Europeans, since general activities of everyone should be similar. Also based on international studies, another reason for lack of publication is because indexed journals do not have enough space or are not interested in certain study topics,4,11 or because there is a demand for high quality papers and comparatively a low rate of demand in congresses and meetings for presentations.4 We also found more reasons for lack of publication in other studies: negative statistical analysis9,17 or because the author has never submitted his study for publication.3

Actually, what is missing in Brazil is tradition, prioritization and initiative to prepare manuscripts to be submitted to journals. Difficulties in more elaborated statistical analyses or scientific writing may be added to those limitations. Disregard leads to delays in publications, especially in this journal, which makes its indexation in MEDLINE more difficult. This creates a perverse impasse, in which this indexer is required to attract more articles and to have the indexer more articles are needed. If this journal had 48.5% (average in the literature) of abstracts of both congresses included in the analysis submitted for publication, there would be 528 submissions and possibly close to 300 accepted articles, which would be enough to create 20 complete issues (15 articles/issue).



The number of publications found in this sample shows how research is careless in our society. However, it was possible to observe an increase in number of publications comparing the 2003 congress to the 2001 congress. Perhaps this was the result of the creation, maturation and successive campaigns for publication promoted by Jornal Vascular Brasileiro. Such numbers are still far from ideal, suggesting the need of hard work in the sense of creating awareness in colleagues, but predict a perspective of change, so far insipient, of more recognition of the importance of publication in research.



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10. Bhandari M, Devereaux PJ, Guyatt GH, et al. An observational study of orthopaedic abstracts and subsequent full-text publications. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2002;84-A:615-21.         [ Links ]

11. Jackson KR, Daluiski A, Kay RM. Publication of abstracts submitted to the annual meeting of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America. J Pediatr Orthop. 2000;20:2-6.         [ Links ]

12. Sprague S, Bhandari M, Devereaux PJ, et al. Barriers to full-text publication following presentation of abstracts at annual orthopaedic meetings. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2003;85-A:158-63.         [ Links ]

13. Gorman RL, Oderda GM. Publication of presented abstracts at annual scientific meetings: a measure of quality? Vet Hum Toxicol. 1990;32:470-2.         [ Links ]

14. Daluiski A, Kuhns CA, Jackson KR, Lieberman JR. Publication rate of abstracts presented at the annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society. J Orthop Res. 1998;16:645-9.         [ Links ]

15. Nguyen V, Tornetta P 3rd, Bkaric M. Publication rates for the scientific sessions of the OTA. Orthopaedic Trauma Association. J Orthop Trauma. 1998;12:457-9; discussion 456.         [ Links ]

16. Byerly WG, Rheney CC, Connelly JF, Verzino KC. Publication rates of abstracts from two pharmacy meetings. Ann Pharmacother. 2000;34:1123-7.         [ Links ]

17. Riordan FA. Do presenters to paediatric meetings get their work published? Arch Dis Child. 2000;83:524-6.         [ Links ]



Winston Bonetti Yoshida
Departamento de Cirurgia e Ortopedia
Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu (UNESP)
CEP 18618-970 - Botucatu, SP, Brazil
Tel.: (14) 3815.7428

Manuscript received June 11, 2008, accepted October 14, 2008.



This study of scientific initiation was carried out at the Department of Surgery and Orthopedics of Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu (UNESP), Botucatu, SP, Brazil.
No conflicts of interest declared concerning the publication of this article.

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