Editorials

Enhancing the quality and transparency of health research

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a718 (Published 08 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a718
  1. Trish Groves, deputy editor
  1. 1BMJ, London WC1H 9JR
  1. tgroves{at}bmj.com

    EQUATOR is an essential web resource for researchers, reviewers, editors, and readers

    A young woman, just making ends meet and coping with four children, signed up to a breast cancer study where she would have to take two big pills every day for two years and show up for numerous frequent tests. Why would she put herself through that, wondered the researcher who went to obtain her consent. “I’m doing it for my daughter” said the mother, clearly expecting the study to yield usable, meaningful, and accessible evidence that might help prevent breast cancer in young women. Would she have consented so readily if she knew that some studies are never published and that many are reported so poorly that they are barely read and never used? This tale was told by that same researcher, Davina Ghersi, coordinator of the World Health Organization international clinical trials registry,1 at a meeting in London last month. Dr Ghersi was there to help launch the EQUATOR (enhancing the quality and transparency of health research) international network, which seeks to improve the quality of scientific publications by promoting transparent and accurate reporting of health research.

    Registration, publication, and publicly available reporting of health research are already mandated by several sponsors and funders,2 3 some legislators,4 and many editors, …

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