Publication and dissemination of research findings

Last updated on 20 Mar 2023

Publication of Clinical Trial Results

Other than early phase trials, sponsors of Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products (CTIMPs) should publish a research summary of their findings within one year of the study’s completion.

You should publish your summary results within these timeframes in the public register (or registers) where you have registered your clinical trial.

If the register used does not have a results section, the results should be posted on a free-to-access, publicly available, searchable institutional website of the sponsor, funder or chief investigator.

Where the main findings are also to be submitted for publication in a journal, this should be done within 12 months of study completion, to be published through an open-access mechanism in a peer-reviewed journal.

Plain language summaries of research findings

Information about research findings should be available to those who took part in the study, interested groups or communities and the general public in a format that is accessible and easy to understand. As part of the HRA’s transparency strategy we ask research sponsors to include a plain language summary of their findings in their final report which will be published on our website alongside the study research summaries.

See further guidance on writing a plain language (lay) summary of your research findings.

Information to participants at the end of a study

Providing participants with a summary of the findings acknowledges and appropriately respects the contribution they have made. Information about the publication and dissemination arrangements should be included in the participant information sheet. See our guidance on writing a plain language (lay) summary of your research findings.

Involving patients or other people with relevant experience at an early stage in your planning will help you to provide feedback and dissemination of the study results in a user-friendly way which is accessible to multiple audiences.

We are committed to supporting and encouraging researchers to involve patients and the public in their work at the earliest opportunity. See our Public involvement pages for more information on how public involvement can improve the quality and relevance of your research.

You can also visit our guidance on how to communicate study findings to participants.

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