Aim: To evaluate the scientific impact of presentations at the annual meetings of the Society of University Surgeons (SUS) and the Association for Academic Surgery (AAS). Methods: All Abstracts presented at the 2002-2004 annual conferences were examined for publication rate (PR), publication citation (PC) and journal impact factor (IF). Results: Overall, 1200 abstracts from the SUS (n = 543,45%) and AAS (n = 657,55%) were reviewed. One way ANOVA analysis of SUS results across session types demonstrated significant differences in PR (89% plenary, 81% parallel, 100% basic science, 47% resident conference, poster 76%, p < 0.0001), but no difference in PC (12.96 plenary, 9.66 parallel, 7.77 basic science, 8.23 resident conference, 8.21 poster, p = 0.25561) or IF (4.17 plenary, 3.50 parallel, 2.66 basic science, 3.12 resident conference 3.13 poster, p = 0.3947). AAS results demonstrated significant differences for PR (81% plenary, 62% parallel and 43% poster, p < 0.0001), CR (8.33 plenary, 4.81 parallel, and 4.78 poster, p = 0.006) and IF (3.75 plenary, 2.64 parallel, and 2.73 poster, p = 0.0124). Comparison of abstracts between meetings demonstrated a higher overall PR, CR and IF for SUS publications (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: These data suggest that SUS and AAS presentations constitute high-quality research, Trends towards higher PR, PC and IF for plenary sessions indicate that the review process properly stratifies research. Statistically higher impact measures for SUS presentations are consistent with the more mature research careers of SUS members.
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