Are European clinical trial funders policies on clinical trial registration and reporting improving? A cross-sectional study

Marguerite O'Riordan, Martin Haslberger, Carolina Cruz, Tarik Suljic, Martin Ringsten, Till Bruckner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Assess the extent to which the clinical trial registration and reporting policies of 25 of the world’s largest public and philanthropic medical research funders meet best practice benchmarks as stipulated by the 2017 WHO Joint Statement, and document changes in the policies and monitoring systems of 19 European funders over the past year.

Design, Setting, Participants:
Cross-sectional study, based on assessments of each funder’s publicly available documentation plus validation of results by funders. Our cohort includes 25 of the largest medical research funders in Europe, Oceania, South Asia, and Canada.

Scoring all 25 funders using an 11-item assessment tool based on WHO best practice benchmarks, grouped into three primary categories: trial registries, academic publication, and monitoring, plus validation of results by funders.

Main outcome measures:
How many of the 11 WHO best practice items each of the 25 funders has put into place, and changes in the performance of 19 previously assessed funders over the preceding year.

The 25 funders we assessed had put into place an average of 5/11 (49%) WHO best practices. Only 6/25 funders (24%) took the PI’s past reporting record into account during grant application reviews. Funders’ performance varied widely from 0/11 to 11/11 WHO best practices adopted. Of the 19 funders for which 2021(2) baseline data was available, 10/19 (53%) had strengthened their policies over the preceding year.

Most medical research funders need to do more to curb research waste and publication bias by strengthening their clinical trial policies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1666
JournalJournal of Clinical and Translational Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jul 14

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy


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