— LETTERS TO THE EDITOR —

Reply to “Are Meeting Presentations a Springboard to Publication?”

Kirsten Winnie, MD | Jeremy T. Jackson, BA

Fam Med. 2022;54(3):238-238.

DOI: 10.22454/FamMed.2022.752944

To the Editor:

We appreciate the efforts of Dr Pautrat, et al to explore rates of publications arising from conference presentations.1 Working within the Military Primary Care Research Network (MPCRN), we noticed a similar phenomenon: authors presented high-quality studies at conferences, but did not submit them to peer review, thus limiting their impact. We would like to offer our experience in attempting to tackle this problem. 

MPCRN founded a virtual peer-supported writing coaching program, called Writing Rounds, and recruited participants presenting at the Uniformed Services Academy of Family Physicians conferences. Writing Rounds is a series of five virtual meetings occurring once a month with a small group of peers and an experienced writing coach. The rounds are hosted virtually through an online videoconferencing platform. During the sessions, Writing Rounds members engage in the weekly discussion topic and provide constructive feedback on each other’s work. We are happy to report that our small pilot program has had nine participants across two cohorts. These nine authors submitted seven works to peer review (77.8% submission rate), with two publications to date.2 Many of our participants reported that without the program, they would have been unlikely to even submit their work to peer review.

Though small in scope and with a selective sample, we feel our work builds on that of Dr Pautrat’s team. While many presentations are not moving on to publication, perhaps with the right kind of support and coaching, more conference presentations could enter the sphere of peer-reviewed literature. Furthermore, in this issue, Drs Mainous and Saultz3 point out there is significant faculty development value in the process of presenting. We agree, and think there is a similar faculty development value in moving through the peer-review process, even if a rejection results, thus we measured our success in terms of submissions, rather than acceptances.

We encourage further research to explore the best strategies to support authors who want to use their conference presentations as a foundation to publish. We found our curricular design, based in self-determination theory,4 increased motivation and facilitated submissions. The expertise of the coach, feedback from peers, and accountability to the group were also key facilitators. Other research networks, family medicine departments, and research teams should leverage as many of these principles as possible when designing programs to increase publication of previously presented works.

Acknowledgments

Disclaimer: The views expressed within this publication represent those of the authors and do not reflect the official position of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, the US Air Force, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, or the US Government Department of Defense at large.

References

  1. Pautrat M, Tenot M, Lebeau JP. A Publication rate comparison of oral communications presented at the 2010 and 2015 French General Practice Congresses and European General Practice Network Meetings. Fam Med. 2021;53(9):754-759. doi:10.22454/FamMed.2021.447144
  2. Winnie K, Jackson JT, Ledford CJW. Writing rounds: an innovation to increase physician scientific dissemination. PRiMER Peer-Rev Rep Med Educ Res. 2021;5:34. doi:10.22454/PRiMER.2021.178789
  3. Mainous AG III, Saultz J. Are meeting presentations a springboard to publication? Fam Med. 2021;53(9):749-750. doi:10.22454/FamMed.2021.945009
  4. Deci EL, Ryan RM. Self-determination theory: A macrotheory of human motivation, development, and health. Canadian psychology/Psychologie canadienne. 2008;49(3):182. doi:10.1037/a0012801

Lead Author

Kirsten Winnie, MD

Affiliations: University of California, San Francisco, Fresno, CA

Co-Authors

Jeremy T. Jackson, BA - Military Primary Care Research Network, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Department of Family Medicine, Henry M. Jackson Foundation, Bethesda, MD

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Pautrat M, Tenot M, Lebeau JP. A Publication Rate Comparison of Oral Communications Presented at the 2010 and 2015 French General Practice Congresses and European General Practice Network Meetings. Fam Med. 2021;53(9):754-759. https://doi.org/10.22454/FamMed.2021.447144.

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