Peer-reviewed publication is at the core of scientific communication. However, with the exception of biomedicine, there has been little analysis of the rate of peer-reviewed publication resulting from conference abstracts. This study examined a random sample of abstracts from the 1989 and 1991 Biennial Conferences on the Biology of Marine Mammals to determine how many were published as peer-reviewed papers. Publication rates were 51.4% (±4.7%) and 51.2% (±4.6%), respectively. This low abstract-to-publication rate, coupled with editorial policies prohibiting citation of conference abstracts in some journals, limits access to recent research, and thus affects the vibrance of the discipline.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/james_bird/10/