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Many NIH-funded clinical trials go unpublished over 2 years after completion
Date:1/3/2012

In a study that investigates the challenges of disseminating clinical research findings in peer-reviewed biomedical journals, Yale School of Medicine researchers have found that fewer than half of a sample of trials primarily or partially funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were published within 30 months of completing the clinical trial.

These findings appear in the January issue of the British Medical Journal, which focuses on the topic of unpublished evidence.

"When research findings are not disseminated, the scientific process is disrupted and leads to redundant efforts and misconceptions about clinical evidence," said Joseph Ross, M.D., first author of the study and a Yale assistant professor of medicine. "Such inaction undermines both the trial in question and the evidence available in peer-reviewed medical literature. This has far-reaching implications for policy decisions, and even institutional review board assessments of risks and benefits associated with future research studies."

Ross and co-authors performed a cross-sectional analysis of NIH-funded clinical trials registered within ClinicalTrials.gov, a trial registry and results database maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. All trials in the study sample were registered after September 30, 2005 and completed by December 31, 2008, allowing at least 30 months for publication following completion of the trial.

They found that overall fewer than half of NIH-funded trials in the sample were published in a peer-reviewed, MEDLINE-indexed biomedical journal within 30 months of trial completion. They also found that one-third of trials remained unpublished 51 months after completion.

Ross said that there may be many reasons for lack of publication, such as not getting accepted by a journal or not prioritizing the dissemination of research findings. Still, he said, there are alternative methods for providing timely public a
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Contact: Karen N. Peart
karen.peart@yale.edu
203-432-1326
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert

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