Intended for healthcare professionals


Registering trials is not enough to counter perceived irrelevance of much research

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 12 February 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:443
  1. St Leger Selwyn, senior lecturer in public health medicine (
  1. Biostatistics Group, School of Epidemiology and Health Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PT

    EDITOR—Horton and Smith make a cogent case for requiring all clinical trials to be registered.1 This is not, however, a complete solution to the underlying problem—the chaotic process by which randomised controlled trials come into being. It may prevent unnecessary duplication (as distinct from desirable replication), but it will not address the real problem of health service research and development—its seeming irrelevance to managers of NHS resources, such as clinicians.

    The problem arises …

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