This study aimed to determine the publication rate of free paper abstracts presented by the postgraduate (PG) trainees and determine the reasons for non-publication. A mixed methods study was conducted. PG trainees presenting free papers at the at the Pakistan Society of Chemical Pathologist conferences from 2012 to 2018 were included. Three databases were searched to identify if the abstracts were published or not. The PG trainee authors of abstracts not published as full manuscript, were surveyed to determine the barriers and challenges in publishing a manuscript.
The average rate of full manuscript publication was 51.8% (n = 93/177) for the abstracts presented by the PG trainees. Publication rate was higher for oral (n = 73/119, 61.3%) compared to poster presentation (n = 20/58, 34.5%). Most of the manuscripts were published after two years of abstract presentation. The survey showed that the main challenges to publishing an abstract were lack of time, limited scientific writing or submission skills, lack of funding for publication fee, and negative or statistically non-significant results. This reflects a need to arrange workshops/symposia for the PG trainees of low-middle income country (LMIC) to enhance their writing and time management skills and improve the full manuscript publication rate from LMICs.