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June 15, 2005

Is This Clinical Trial Fully Registered?A Statement From the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dr DeAngelis is editor-in-chief, JAMA; Dr Drazen is editor-in-chief, New England Journal of Medicine; Prof Fizelle is editor, The New Zealand Medical Journal; Dr Haug is editor-in-chief, Norwegian Medical Journal; Dr Hoey is editor, CMAJ; Dr Horton is editor, The Lancet; Mr Kotzin is executive editor, MEDLINE, National Library of Medicine; Dr Laine is senior deputy editor, Annals of Internal Medicine; Dr Marusic is editor, Croatian Medical Journal; Dr Overbeke is executive editor, Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde (Dutch Journal ofMedicine); Dr Schroder is editor, Journal of the Danish Medical Association; Dr Sox is editor, Annals of Internal Medicine; and Dr Van Der Weyden is editor, The Medical Journal of Australia.

JAMA. 2005;293(23):2927-2929. doi:10.1001/jama.293.23.jed50037

In September 2004, the members of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) published a joint editorial aimed at promoting registration of all clinical trials.1 We stated that we will consider a trial for publication only if it has been registered before the enrollment of the first patient. This policy applies to trials that start recruiting on or after July 1, 2005. Because many ongoing trials were not registered at inception, we will consider for publication ongoing trials that are registered before September 13, 2005. Our goal then and now is to foster a comprehensive, publicly available database of clinical trials. A complete registry of trials would be a fitting way to thank the thousands of participants who have placed themselves at risk by volunteering for clinical trials. They deserve to know that the information that accrues from their altruism is part of the public record, where it is available to guide decisions about patient care, and deserve to know that decisions about their care rest on all of the evidence, not just the trials that authors decided to report and that journal editors decided to publish.

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