Improving publication rates in a collaborative clinical trials research network

Stephanie Wilson Archer, Waldemar A. Carlo, William E. Truog, David K. Stevenson, Krisa P. Van Meurs, Pablo J. Sánchez, Abhik Das, Uday Devaskar, Leif D. Nelin, Carolyn M. Petrie Huitema, Margaret M. Crawford, Rosemary D. Higgins, for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Unpublished results can bias biomedical literature, favoring positive over negative findings, primary over secondary analyses, and can lead to duplicate studies that unnecessarily endanger subjects and waste resources. The Neonatal Research Networkʼs (NRN) publication policies for approving, reviewing, and tracking abstracts and papers work to combat these problems. In 2003, the NRN restricted investigators with unfinished manuscripts from proposing new ones and in 2010, urged authors to complete long-outstanding manuscripts. Data from 1991 to 2015 were analyzed to determine effectiveness of these policy changes. The NRN has achieved an overall publication rate of 78% for abstracts. For 1990–2002, of 137 abstracts presented, 43 (31%) were published within 2 years; for 2003–2009, after the manuscript completion policy was instituted, of 140 abstracts presented, 68 (49%) were published within 2 years. Following the effort in 2010, the rate increased to 64%. The NRN surpassed reported rates by developing a comprehensive process, holding investigators accountable and tracking abstracts from presentation to publication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-417
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Perinatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Authorship policies
  • Network collaboration
  • Publication rates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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