A new strategy for research transparency. The HRA response to the Science and Technology Committee

Last updated on 22 Feb 2019

The Science and Technology committee has published a statement from the Health Research Authority which sets out our commitment to research transparency.

The statement is a full point by point response to the recommendations made by the committee in its report on clinical trials transparency, published in October 2018. It builds on the response made at the time, and commits among other things to the formation of an expert group to draft a transparency strategy which will be put out for public consultation this summer.


"While promoting research transparency has always been a key part of our work at the HRA, the Committee has set us a challenge to move away from encouraging best practice and instead to drive improvements. We accept that challenge.

"There is already strong commitment to research transparency across funders, research organisations and national bodies: we need to translate that into lasting change on the ground and a change in culture to make research transparency part of the day job. I look forward to working closely with our stakeholders to develop the strategy to enable us to do this in the coming months."

Juliet Tizzard, Director of Policy

This work is especially important in the light of a paper published today in BMJ Open, based on HRA data, which shows that around 20 per cent of clinical trials are not registered, or cannot be easily found on a register.

As author Simon Kolstoe, Research Ethics Committee Chair says there have been some improvements to research registration, though there is still work to do.

The HRA is determined to ensure that all trials are registered to ensure that the interests of patients and the public in health and social care research are protected.

The expert group will be chaired by Professor Andrew George, Non-Executive Director at the HRA, who has written a blog about his transparency work.

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