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March 9, 1990

Underreporting Research Is Scientific Misconduct

JAMA. 1990;263(10):1405-1408. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440100121018

Substantial numbers of clinical trials are never reported in print, and among those that are, many are not reported in sufficient detail to enable judgments to be made about the validity of their results. Failure to publish an adequate account of a well-designed clinical trial is a form of scientific misconduct that can lead those caring for patients to make inappropriate treatment decisions. Investigators, research ethics committees, funding bodies, and scientific editors all have responsibilities to reduce underreporting of clinical trials. An extended use of prospective registration of trials at inception, as well as benefiting clinical research in other ways, could help people to play their respective roles in reducing underreporting of clinical trials.

(JAMA. 1990;263:1405-1408)