Thursday, 14 April 2011

Registering research: present Sir.

Another quick post just to drop in a few interesting links.
The title of the post refers to the increasingly important use of clinical trial registries in research. Our ScanBrit trial looking at the use of gluten- and casein-free diets for children with autism was registered with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) trial registry - ClinicalTrials.gov.
The reason being that many scientific journals nowadays make clinical trial registry a pre-requisite before even entertaining the thought of publishing a paper. It also allows a degree of transparency of trial protocol, outcomes, and even posting of results for everyone to see.
There are other trial registries such as this one from the World Health Organisation (WHO) - the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform.
All these registries are searchable and often provide a wealth of information about studies recruiting, underway or completed on a specific topic. I am particularly interested in this and this trial related to autism when they eventually report.
A new clinical trial register has also joined the party - the EU Clinical Trials Register. As part of a directive from the European Medicines Agency there is now a commitment to further transparency in European-produced research (I don't suppose the fact that everyone was registering with the NIH or WHO had anything to do with it!)
I would encourage readers to use these valuable resources. They are all open-access and really do make science accessible and provide an important window into the inner workings of evidence-based practice.