Factors Associated with the Success and Timing of Orthopaedic Surgery Resident Research Thesis Project Publication

Andrew W. Kuhn, Paul M. Inclan, David M. Brogan, Alexander W. Aleem, Robert H. Brophy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction:Scholarship and research are important aspects of orthopaedic surgery training. Many orthopaedic surgery residency programs have developed dedicated research curricula, often culminating in a capstone thesis project with the intended goal of peer-reviewed publication. However, data on the success of these programs are scarce. The purpose of the current study was to determine the success rate and time to publication of resident research thesis projects at our own institution while evaluating factors associated with these outcomes.Methods:Resident research thesis projects performed over the past 15 years were aggregated and reviewed. Additional data regarding the projects and former trainees who performed them were collected using public resources which included measures of current academic aptitude (i.e., H-index and number of publications) as well as project and publication characteristics. Cox and linear regression analyses were conducted to assess the relation between numerous predictor variables and the success and time to publication. All analyses were conducted at the 95% confidence interval (CI) level.Results:Sixty-eight (n = 68; 83%) resident research thesis projects were published an average of 2,582.8 days, or roughly 7 years from the start of their residency training. Graduate adjusted H-index was associated with increased success and decreased time to publication (hazard ratio 1.183 [95% CI: 1.059-1.322], p = 0.003). A lower journal impact factor was associated with taking significantly shorter time to reach publication (F(1,66) = 7.839, p = 0.007; Β1= 146.45, p = 0.007). Study type (clinical vs. laboratory), posttraining practice setting (academic vs. private), and whether the research topic was within the same area of the trainee's matched fellowship(s) did not predict publication success.Discussion/Conclusion:Over the past 15 years, 83% of orthopaedic resident research thesis projects at our institution were published. A higher adjusted H-index was associated with greater completion and faster timing to publication. A lower journal impact factor was also associated with quicker publication. These data highlight the publication metrics of a formalized resident research program and identify factors associated with success and timing of publication.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere22.00072
JournalJBJS Open Access
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 12 2023


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