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October 3, 2007

Clinical Trial Registries—Reply

JAMA. 2007;298(13):1514-1515. doi:10.1001/jama.298.13.1515-a

In Reply: Dr Saver raises the important issue of duplicate trial acronyms. ClinicalTrials.gov allows investigators to list acronyms because these have become a common way to refer to trials by likely users of the registry, including participants, sponsors, clinicians, and the news media. By collecting this information, we enable users of the registry to find trials by searching for the acronym. The information in the letter by Saver indicates that the extent of duplicate acronyms is great, and it will likely continue to grow. However, we do not have the authority to regulate the use of acronyms. We encourage trial sponsors and investigators to check registries and MEDLINE for the prior use of an acronym before applying it to a trial. In addition, we encourage the use of the trial registration number in all written material about a trial to differentiate it from other trials with the same acronym.