From publication bias to lost in information

clinical trials
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The availability of clinical trial records has increased markedly in recent years. For instance, several documents from numerous sources are often available for a single clinical trial—sometimes with overlapping, but often incomplete information.

Identifying and processing this information involves a great deal of resources and challenges. Using an example of information retrieval for a health technology assessment report, this is shown in the current issue of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine by two researchers from the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG): Beate Wieseler from the Drug Assessment Department and Natalie McGauran from the Communications Unit.

In their article "From to lost in information: Why we need a central public portal for ", they call for the establishment of a central public portal for clinical trial records in order to simplify and standardize the extremely time-consuming search for these records. The primary goal is the complete and timely availability of so-called "clinical study reports", i.e., of those records that comprehensively describe clinical trials and their results. The establishment of such a portal would also support a further aim of the growing data transparency movement, namely, to improve patient care.

The main target group of the portal would be researchers conducting evidence syntheses as a basis for informed decision-making in , such as the development of guidelines or health policy directives.

Explore further

Study reveals racial disparities in clinical trial recruitment

More information: Beate Wieseler et al. From publication bias to lost in information: why we need a central public portal for clinical trial data, BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine (2020). DOI: 10.1136/bmjebm-2020-111566
Citation: From publication bias to lost in information (2020, December 11) retrieved 19 September 2021 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors