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Trial registration: the single most valuable tool we have to ensure unbiased reporting of research studies

An Editorial has been published this week in The BMJ to mark the 10th anniversary of the landmark decision by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) to make journals require “registration of any clinical trials in a public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment as a condition of consideration for publication”.

The article discusses the benefits that trial registration has brought, and also discusses the problems that still remain.

The Editorial concludes: “Prospective registration of clinical trials is now an ethical and, in many cases, a legal requirement. Registries, public health agencies, funders, and journals must ensure compliance with these requirements to avoid biased and incomplete reporting of clinical research studies”

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Ryan co-runs Aspire Scientific, a dynamic, forward-thinking medical writing agency. Ryan has a passion for innovation, science and ethical communication.

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