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Our vision for research transparency

Last updated on 4 Feb 2020

This consultation has now closed. 

Our vision is that trusted information about health and social care research studies is publicly available for the benefit of all.

Why is this important?

Research in the UK should be visible to all so that: 

  • patients and the public can see what research is taking place and access clear information about the findings
  • patients, service users and carers can join studies

  • health professionals, commissioners, researchers, policy makers and funders can use research findings to make informed decisions.

This will enhance public trust in research evidence and enhance public accountability.

Our research transparency mission

As the body overseeing health and social care research on behalf of the UK, our research transparency mission is to champion openness in health and social care research in the UK. We will achieve this by working in partnership across the research system to set the national ambition and drive improvements.

To achieve the mission, we will:

  • make transparency easy
  • make compliance clear
  • make information public.

While the HRA is the lead organisation on research transparency, many players across the health system also have an important part to play. We will work together to make sure that we achieve our common vision.

Make transparency easy by:

  • setting policy which is effective and achievable
  • being clear about what we expect of sponsors and researchers, and what they can expect of us
  • supporting good practice through guidance, learning and clear communication
  • enabling a good quality, interoperable research approvals system.

Make compliance clear by:

  • monitoring sponsors’ and researchers’ transparency performance
  • giving sponsors and researchers feedback on their transparency performance
  • sharing best practice and celebrating improvement
  • flagging up individual studies where transparency information is overdue
  • sharing performance data with funders and others
  • setting our own performance targets and reporting on progress.

Make information public by:

  • maintaining an easily accessible public record of health and social care research in the UK, providing visibility about individual studies from the time they start to publication of full results
  • sharing data between the HRA and funders, other regulators and registries to enable good public information
  • promoting the use of plain language for lay audiences.
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