Introduction: XXII European Congress of Medical Informatics (MIE 2009) took place in Sarajevo from August 30th to September 2nd 2009. Assessment of quality of papers presented at MIE 2009 was a process of observation, measurement, comparison and evaluation of the quality of orally presented papers. Methodology: For this study, and for the first time since EFMI founding (1976) and MIE congresses, the authors introduced a specially created quality assessment form with five relevant paper quality variables (methodological approach, international influence, scientific content, language quality, technical features) which the first author of this article used in peer-review process of papers submitted for publication in the journal Acta Informatica Medica (as Editor-in-Chief for last 18 years). The survey was conducted on the principle of random sampling of participants of MIE 2009 Conference in Sarajevo, where specially trained interviewers (final year students of medicine and engineering at the University of Sarajevo) interviewed 33 sessionís chairs and 110 participants/listeners of MIE 2009 paper presentations in 33 sessions (of total 40). Data was collected, entered into a specially created database, analyzed and presented. Results: From the total of 150 oral presentations at the MIE 2009, 110 oral presentations were graded by both chairs and participants/ listeners. Grading results were compared and we found that in 60% of cases (66 papers) session chairs gave higher ratings than other participants of the congress. The highest rating was 10, and the lowest 3. Only 3 of the papers received all four grades 10 from the session chairs. The most common grade given by chairs of the session was 8 (26.36%), followed by 7 (20%), 9 (19.32%), 6 (13.18%), 10 and 5 (7.50%), 4 (5%) and 3 (1.14%). Significant differences in quality assessment of papers done by chairs and those done by other participants/listeners are observed. Conclusion: This work should demonstrate the importance of introducing universal (uniform) scale for assessment of articles at conferences that would provide objective and relevant assessment, which has not been the practice. Results obtained using a single standardized scale can be compared to each other and thus improve the quality of the articles and the congress. Future congresses can be organized in this manner and become leading events in certain fields of medical science.
medical informatics, quality assessment, paper presentation, evaluation