The Wellcome Trust is pleased to sign this petition. We support full and unrestricted access to the outputs of research, including clinical trials, and consider this to be a key component of the research pathway and of our vision to achieve extraordinary achievements in human and animal health.
We consider that all trials should be registered in an appropriate accredited register, with information on the trial protocol and sponsor. The Trust’s own clinical trials policy sets out our requirement for all trials to be registered on our clinical trial register, which is a subset of the larger International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) Register. We expect all current and future trials funded by the Trust to be registered in this way. We also encourage the development of more accessible lay summaries to ensure public engagement.
We also support efforts to ensure full reporting of trial methods and results. We expect our researchers to maximise the opportunities to make their results and outputs freely available, as set out in our open access policy and in our policy on data management and sharing. We recognise that it may be more difficult to publish negative findings in peer reviewed journals, but do not think this should be a long-term barrier to making all results and outputs available. We consider that, where appropriate, a range of approaches to making research findings available should be considered, such as websites, data repositories and trial registries.
We recognise that there is also ongoing discussion about the importance of greater transparency for all data underlying clinical trials. We began a review of our own clinical trials policy in early 2012, and expect to publish our updated policy soon. We expect our researchers to work towards the full disclosure of research data, although we recognise that there are a number of issues that must be addressed in order to facilitate the most effective sharing of clinical trial data.