Research transparency

Last updated on 7 Nov 2023

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

Research transparency is central to ethical research practice. When research is carried out openly and transparently, everyone will be able to see what research is happening and the outcomes from finished studies.

This means that:

  • patients, service users and carers can find opportunities to join studies
  • researchers can build on previous research findings in their efforts to develop new and better treatments, and to identify the best ways for us to stay healthy and well
  • health professionals, commissioners, policy makers, and funders, can use research findings to help make informed decisions

Promoting transparency across the research landscape is central to our role to facilitate safe and ethical research.

Make it Public campaign

Make it Public is a campaign that we have launched to help ensure that all research is carried out transparently.

The campaign is led by a group who are responsible for driving the campaign, championing transparency and taking the actions of the strategy forward.

Read more about the Make it Public campaign.

Make it Public Week - the first ever week dedicated to research transparency

On 20 March 2023, we launched Make it Public Week – the first ever week dedicated to research transparency.

Make It Public Week was an online event that built on the success of our Make it Public Conference in November 2021, where we launched our first Make it Public annual report and reaffirmed our commitment to champion transparency at all levels of research.

Read about the week and what happened.

You can also visit our news and updates section of the website to read blogs around research transparency and how to ensure best practice.

Research Transparency Annual Report 2022/23

As part of Make it Public Week, we launched our second Research Transparency Annual Report. You can read the report and view an accessible PDF version on our website.

What do I need to know about research transparency?

These pages are split into two sections. One aimed at people who are involved in developing or delivering research. The information outlines your transparency responsibilities, the related legal and regulatory requirements and transparency best practice.

The other explains more about the Make it Public campaign and is aimed at anyone with an interest in research transparency. This information will tell you what you should expect, in terms of transparency, if you get involved in research.

Our research transparency strategy

Our strategy, ‘Make it public: transparency and openness in health and social care research’, sets out our vision that trusted information from health and social care research studies is publicly available for the benefit of all. To help achieve this, the HRA is working with key players across the research system, patients and the public to:

  • make transparency easy 
  • make transparency the norm 
  • make information public 

The strategy was developed following a public consultation and is supported by an implementation plan.

Four elements of research transparency

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The UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research sets out the responsibilities for researchers, sponsors and funders for all aspects of research, including responsibilities for the four elements of research transparency. These are: 

  1. registering research studies
  2. reporting results
  3. informing participants
  4. sharing study data and tissue

Clinical Trial Registration Audit Reports

Since 2015, we have audited the number of clinical trials that met the condition of the favourable opinion to register on a publicly accessible database.

Read the reports.

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