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Open Access Research article

Urological research in sub-Saharan Africa: a retrospective cohort study of abstracts presented at the Nigerian association of urological surgeons conferences

Jibril Oyekunle Bello

Author Affiliations

Department of Surgery, Urology Unit, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, PMB 1459 Ilorin, Nigeria

BMC Urology 2013, 13:59  doi:10.1186/1471-2490-13-59

Published: 14 November 2013

Abstract

Background

Nigeria is one of the top three countries in Africa in terms of science research output and Nigerian urologists’ biomedical research output contributes to this. Each year, urologists in Nigeria gather to present their recent research at the conference of the Nigerian Association of Urological Surgeons (NAUS). These abstracts are not thoroughly vetted as are full length manuscripts published in peer reviewed journals but the information they disseminate may affect clinical practice of attendees. This study aims to describe the characteristics of abstracts presented at the annual conferences of NAUS, the quality of the abstracts as determined by the subsequent publication of full length manuscripts in peer-review indexed journals and the factors that influence such successful publication.

Methods

Abstracts presented at the 2007 to 2010 NAUS conferences were identified through conference abstracts books. Using a strict search protocol, publication in peer-reviewed journals was determined. The abstracts characteristics were analyzed and their quality judged by subsequent successful publishing of full length manuscripts. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 16.0 software to determine factors predictive of successful publication.

Results

Only 75 abstracts were presented at the NAUS 2007 to 2010 conferences; a quarter (24%) of the presented abstracts was subsequently published as full length manuscripts. Median time to publication was 15 months (range 2–40 months). Manuscripts whose result data were analyzed with ‘beyond basic’ statistics of frequencies and averages were more likely to be published than those with basic or no statistics.

Conclusions

Quality of the abstracts and thus subsequent publication success is influenced by the use of ‘beyond basic’ statistics in analysis of the result data presented. There is a need for improvement in the quality of urological research from Nigeria.

Keywords:
Urology; Abstracts; Publication; Peer review; Statistics; NAUS