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November 19, 2003

Registering Clinical Trials

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(19):2545. doi:10.1001/jama.290.19.2545-a

In Reply: Dr Leviton suggests that medical editors are as much to blame as authors for failure to publish negative or null results; however, as we pointed out, research has repeatedly shown that this widespread belief is false.1-4 Contrary to Leviton's assertion, we explained that registering a trial with the name, investigators, and other characteristics in fact guarantees that it cannot "disappear." The inclusion of study findings in such a register would be inappropriate, given that by its nature a register has no mechanism to review accuracy, quality, and other important factors in judging validity and reliability of results.