Intended for healthcare professionals


A clinical trials register for Europe

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 07 December 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:1314

Stop talking and start making it happen

  1. Alison Tonks, associate editor (
  1. BMJ

    For more than a decade, clinical trialists and their sponsors have been saying that they want all controlled clinical trials tagged and listed somewhere while they are in progress—preferably on an international register that's simple to use, searchable, and free to anyone who wants to know who is studying what and where. No one doubts that registering ongoing controlled trials is a good idea. The Americans have made an excellent start with their publicly funded register(>).1 And the United Kingdom's Medical Research Council and the NHS Research and Development Programme have made important progress through a meta-register of controlled trials (>), established by Current Controlled Trials, a publisher. Why has it not happened more widely in Europe? Last year the European Science Foundation, an umbrella organisation, advised all its member organisations to register controlled trials through>and to assign each of them a unique identifier—an international standard randomised controlled trial number (ISRCTN).2 Last month, the foundation hosted a meeting in Frankfurt to review progress, and more importantly, to urge members to stop talking and do something.

    The compelling arguments that started this debate 10 years ago remain the same: 3 4 The international research effort is chaotic. It is impossible to …

    View Full Text

    Log in

    Log in through your institution


    * For online subscription