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JM2010 Contributed Paper: Publication Rate of Abstracted Projects from the Medical Library Association Annual Meetings

Posted on January 28, 2010 by ebrennan | No Comments

Posted by Marcus Banks, MLIS, Manager of Education and Research Services; UC San Francisco Library and Center for Knowledge Management

In this presentation Sally Harvey and Janene Wandersee presented the results of their fascinating and thorough study of the rates at which MLA meeting presentations are converted into formal publication. The impetus for the study was a similar paper by Hashkes and Uziel that appeared in the Journal of Rheumatology in 2003 (PMID 12610823).

Methods:  The authors surveyed first authors of abstracts for MLA conferences to learn if they had published a paper; and also conducted a literature search in CINAHL and MEDLINE.

Conclusions: Both methods revealed that approximately 1/4 of presentations became formal papers.  Librarians at universities contributed 70% of the papers, and there was variance between MLA chapters in the percentage of presentations that became papers.  Some respondents indicated that their presentations didn’t lend themselves to papers, and many people cited time constraints as their reason for not developing a paper.

Future research possibilities: Determining if the 2007 publication of guidelines by MLA for creating papers from presentations increased the number of papers; understanding the reasons for variance between MLA chapter members in likelihood to publish papers;  a more qualitative look at people’s motivations to publish.

Posted 1/28/10

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