Non-publication of trial results has been a major concern in clinical research since a couple of decades. The problem is that non-publication causes ‘research waste’. Research waste is usually defined as avoidable waste of investments in research due to inadequately producing and reporting clinical trials. This can bias evidence-based treatment guidelines and clinical decision making. Not publishing trial results is also unethical, because the burdens and risks imposed on the study participants do not contribute to the scientific body of knowledge.
This article presents the results of an extensive study of the occurrence and determinants of non-publication of clinical drug trials in the Netherlands in 2007. The study shows a 42% non-publication rate of clinical trials. Non-publication is most common among early terminated trials, trials with no prospective registration, phase 1, and single-center drug trials. Although the publication rate of clinical trials has improved over the past years, it still is far from optimal.
Title: Non-Publication Is Common among Phase 1, Single-Center, Not Prospectively Registered, or Early Terminated Clinical Drug Trials
Authors: van den Bogert CA, Souverein PC, Brekelmans CT, Janssen SW, Koëter GH, Leufkens HG, Bouter LM.
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