Registration of health and medical research is an effective way of improving the transparency and credibility of evidence. Registration involves pre-specifying the research objectives, design, methods and analytic plan on a publicly accessible repository before conducting the study. Registration can reduce bias and improve the transparency and credibility of research findings. Registration is mandated for clinical trials, but it is also relevant to systematic reviews, observational and preclinical experimental research. This paper describes how researchers can register their research and outlines possible barriers and challenges in doing so. Widespread adoption of research registration can reduce research waste and improve evidence-informed clinical and policy decision making.
- evidence-based practice
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Contributors AGC, GCR, NJDV and HL conceptualised the paper. All authors contributed to data interpretation. AGC wrote the first draft of the manuscript. All authors provided substantive feedback on the manuscript and have read and approved the final version. AGC is the guarantor and attests that all listed authors meet authorship criteria and that no others meeting the criteria have been omitted.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests GCR was financially supported by the NHS, National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), School for Primary Care Research (SPCR), the Naji Foundation and the Rotary Foundation to study for a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) at the University of Oxford (2017-2020), but no longer has interests to declare. GCR is an Associate Editor of BMJ Evidence Based Medicine. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. DTM is employed by the Center for Open Science, which advocates for study registration and builds and maintains the Open Science Framework, an open source platform that include a study registry. All other authors declare no competing interests.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.