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Stud Health Technol Inform. 2004;107(Pt 2):1476-80.

Trial bank publishing: phase I results.

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Programs in Biological and Medical Informatics, University of California San Francisco, CA 94143-1211, USA.



Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) are an important source of evidence for clinical practice, but finding and applying RCT reports to care is time consuming. Publishing RCTs directly into machine-understandable "trial banks" may allow computers to deliver RCT evidence more selectively and effectively to clinicians.


Authors of eligible RCTs published in JAMA or the Annals of Internal Medicine between January 2002 and July 2003 were invited to co-publish their trial in RCT Bank, an electronic knowledge base containing details of trial design, execution, and summary results. Trial bank staff used Bank-a-Trial, a web-based trial-bank entry tool, to enter information from the manuscript into RCT Bank, obtaining additional information as necessary from the authors.


The author participation rate rose from 38% to 76% after the first co-published trial was available as an example. Seven diverse RCTs are now co-published, with 14 in progress.


We have demonstrated proof of concept for co-publishing RCTs with leading journals into a structured knowledge base. Phase II of trial bank publishing will introduce direct author submission to RCT Bank.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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