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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

A proposal for reducing the effect of one of many causes of publication bias

Sue M Richards and Julie A Burrett*

Author Affiliations

Clinical Trial Service Unit (CTSU), Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford, OX3 7LF, UK

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Trials 2013, 14:41  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-41

Published: 12 February 2013

Abstract

In order to avoid publication bias, all trials should be registered at initiation and their results made easily accessible. However, some trial results are more difficult to publish than others. This report describes one such trial and highlights the need for a way of making results of trials widely available even if not presented in the traditional format. Until such time as it is required by law both to register all trials and enter their final results into the database, a lack of resources will mean that some trial results are never published. The scale of the problem of non-publication is unknown and for valid trial results any form of publication is better than none. Therefore it is essential that a quick and easy way is available to act as a safety net to catch trial results that would otherwise be lost.

Keywords:
Publication bias; Randomized trial; Polycythaemia; Busulphan; Radioactive phosphorous; Venesection